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COVID and the club: conversations with Boys & Girls Club leaders on providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID and the club: conversations with Boys & Girls Club leaders on providing services during the... Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCs) provide numerous avenues for youth to connect, be physically active and have healthy meals/snacks. These services are often provided to low-income families at reduced cost to bridge the gap in after school and summer childcare. However, many of these clubs were forced to dramatically change their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to examine how 13 BGCs in Texas, USA, experienced COVID-19 and persevered to provide services.Design/methodology/approachInterviews were conducted with 16 BGC leaders from 13 different BGCs. Open-ended questions were used to elicit leaders’ experiences with the pandemic, services their clubs were able to offer, barriers overcome and supports crucial to their ability to serve their communities. Thematic analysis was used to generate findings from these interviews.FindingsBGC services changed significantly during the pandemic. Normal activities were no longer possible; however, leaders (alongside their communities) continually provided services for their families. Further, leaders reiterated the power of the community coming together in support of their families.Social implicationsWhile BGC leaders had to adapt services, they found ways to reach families and serve their community. These adaptations can have dramatic impacts on the social and physical well-being of children in their communities. Learning from this adversity can improve services as clubs start to build back.Originality/valueThis study provides vital context to the changing care and setting children were exposed to during the pandemic response. Additionally, these results provide understanding of the adaptations that took place in these services. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Children's Services Emerald Publishing

COVID and the club: conversations with Boys & Girls Club leaders on providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-6660
eISSN
1746-6660
DOI
10.1108/jcs-10-2021-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCs) provide numerous avenues for youth to connect, be physically active and have healthy meals/snacks. These services are often provided to low-income families at reduced cost to bridge the gap in after school and summer childcare. However, many of these clubs were forced to dramatically change their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to examine how 13 BGCs in Texas, USA, experienced COVID-19 and persevered to provide services.Design/methodology/approachInterviews were conducted with 16 BGC leaders from 13 different BGCs. Open-ended questions were used to elicit leaders’ experiences with the pandemic, services their clubs were able to offer, barriers overcome and supports crucial to their ability to serve their communities. Thematic analysis was used to generate findings from these interviews.FindingsBGC services changed significantly during the pandemic. Normal activities were no longer possible; however, leaders (alongside their communities) continually provided services for their families. Further, leaders reiterated the power of the community coming together in support of their families.Social implicationsWhile BGC leaders had to adapt services, they found ways to reach families and serve their community. These adaptations can have dramatic impacts on the social and physical well-being of children in their communities. Learning from this adversity can improve services as clubs start to build back.Originality/valueThis study provides vital context to the changing care and setting children were exposed to during the pandemic response. Additionally, these results provide understanding of the adaptations that took place in these services.

Journal

Journal of Children's ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 23, 2022

Keywords: Afterschool; Qualitative; Social; COVID-19; Child care; Summer care

References