Retrospective Study

Child protection services during COVID-19 in Oman, child protection workers views

Muna Ahmed Al Saadoon*, Mohammed Saif Allouyahi and Shahad Abdullah Almamari and Syed Rizvi

Published: 29 May, 2023 | Volume 6 - Issue 1 | Pages: 022-030

Introduction: Child Protection Services (CPSs) are dedicated to providing protection and responding to any threats a child could face as children worldwide could be abused. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic affected all aspects of life. Procedures implemented to restrict the spread of the disease (such as reduced access to services, school closure, and social distancing measures) had an impact on child life and maltreatment. Therefore, it is important to know the impact of this pandemic on child abuse and protection. 
Aim and rationales: This study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on CPSs in Oman by studying the change in the number of reported cases of child abuse and the change in the reporting procedure at the Ministry of Social Development (MOSD). In addition, know the impact of the restriction measures on child rights and risk factors of child maltreatment based on CPSs workers’ opinions and experience. To understand the adaptation of the CPSs to the change in work and life environment imposed by COVID-19. 
Method: A cross-section study was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire, that was distributed to the workers involved in the CPSs at the MOSD in Oman. Data also were collected from the statistical bulletins on the Ministry’s website. 
Results: COVID-19 pandemic was not found associated with a significant change in the number and type of child abuse cases reported to the MOSD. The reporting procedures also did not change. In addition, the pattern of child abuse types did not change before and during the pandemic, as neglect cases were the most. The participants judged the restriction measures affecting family life through separation, cyber abuse, and reduced educational support. With regard to intervention and follow-up procedures, the main difference was in the communication processes by using online communication methods and reducing the fieldwork for mild cases.
Conclusion: CPSs in Oman were not much affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which may reflect the success of this system in dealing with the restriction measures. However, more solutions should be developed to adapt to these circumstances in the future altogether.

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.japch.1001056 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Child maltreatment; Child abuse; Child protection services; COVID-19; Social work; Oman


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