The global impact of COVID-19 on child protection professionals: A scoping review and thematic analysis

Carmit Katz*, Talia Glucklich, Afnan Attrash-Najjar, Ma'ayan Jacobson, Noa Cohen, Natalia Varela, Sidnei Rinaldo Priolo-Filho, Annie Bérubé, Olivia D. Chang, Delphine Collin-Vézina, Ansie Fouché, Sadiyya Haffejee, Ilan Katz, Kathryn Maguire-Jack, Nadia Massarweh, Michelle O'Reilly, Ashwini Tiwari, Elmien Truter, Rebeca Veras de Andrade Vieira, Hayley Walker-WilliamsMurilo Ricardo Zibetti, Christine Werkele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic triggered new risks for child maltreatment (CM) and exacerbated existing challenges for families and children, elevating the importance of child protection professionals (CPPs) while also adding barriers to their work. During the pandemic, many CPPs experienced increased workloads, a disrupted work environment, and personal pandemic-related hardships. However, the scope of how COVID-19 impacted CPPs globally, as well as their adopted coping strategies, have not been well explored. Objective: This study addresses these gaps in the research by conducting an international scoping review to explore and analyze these topics. Method: The scoping review was performed in six languages: English, Hebrew, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, across 16 databases. Sixteen manuscripts were included in the final thematic analysis of this review. Results: Two main themes were identified: 1) the impact of COVID-19 on CPPs, and 2) the coping and adaptation strategies employed by CPPs during COVID-19. This review revealed and emphasized the importance of CPPs' resilience during COVID-19, underpinned by the theoretical framework of the social ecology of resilience. Conclusions: This study highlights the responsibility of social ecologies and organizational structures to create readiness for a rapid response in times of crisis as well as valuable evidence to inform how CPPs, children, and families may be better supported in the event of a future crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106347
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Child maltreatment (CM)
  • Child protection professionals (CPPs)
  • COVID-19
  • Resilience
  • Scoping review
  • Thematic analysis


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