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Family resources in crisis?

How families experience child and youth services during times of corona

At a glance


While some parents and children coped well during the pandemic-induced shutdown in spring 2020, other families saw their already precarious circumstances worsen. For child and youth care workers, this presented a difficult situa-tion. But what do families receiving services in child and youth care report about how they got along during this time? How did they handle the transitions and how do they continue to accommodate them? How did they perceive services and interventions in child protection and child and youth care and where do they see a need for change? In summer 2020, the Institute of Childhood, Youth and Family initiated a study to answer these questions. The study was commissioned by the Office for Youth and Vocational Guidance of the canton of Zurich in cooperation with the Social Services of the city of Zurich.

In a project co-led by Tim Tausendfreund and David Lätsch, a combination of in-depth case studies and a compre-hensive client survey was chosen. In both methodological strands, samples consist of parents and children above the age of ten. The client survey, aiming at a sample of several hundred families, covers clients’ perceptions of the follow-ing services: guardianships in child protection, maternity and paternity counseling, remedial early education, and an early-intervention program called ”Zeppelin”. The case studies focus on one type of guardianship in child protection called “educational guardianship.” Over a period of six months, twenty families are interviewed twice. After comple-tion of the study, the results will be presented and discussed in various formats from mid-2021 onwards.