Amplifying Vulnerabilities: How COVID-19 is Impacting Japanese at Risk Youth

Abstract

There are 608 "Children’s Homes" (児童養護施設 jidō yōgo shisetsu) across Japan caring for youth unable to live their parents for an array of reasons mainly abuse and poverty. According to the most recent data 13.9% (2020 OECD) Japanese youth live in poverty and in 2018, 159,850 child abuse consultations were made (2018, MHLW). Institutionalization of any kind is always difficult for youth as well for their caretakers. Inside the children’s homes, the situation is difficult due to limited staff and tight budgets. The onset of COVID-19 has meant an increase in the need for support while at the same time a decrease in the support institutions could provide, putting an already vulnerable population at added risk. Based on interviews with leaders at leading non-profit organizations working with children from low income families and in Children’s Homes, this examines the immediate difficulties faced during the emergency order when schools were closed and during spring/summer when youth returned to school. Interviews revealed both the needs faced by youth and staff as well as the potential long-term educational and social impacts.



Author Information
Sarajean Rossitto, Sophia University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21