A Scoping Review of Formal Care to Children with Special Needs during the Covid-19 Pandemic


    Rosaline Suvarna Latha , Sheeja Karalam , Jasmine Mathew , Shinto Joseph





How to Cite

Suvarna Latha, R., Karalam, S., Mathew, J., & Joseph, S. (2022). A Scoping Review of Formal Care to Children with Special Needs during the Covid-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Special Education, 37(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.52291/ijse.2022.37.22


The purpose of this scoping review was to investigate the research conducted during the Covid 19 pandemic on Formal Care (FC) to Children with Special Needs (CSNs), the challenges faced by FCP, understand the key concepts, and identify the research gap for achieving in-depth and broad results. This study adopted scoping review as a technique to map the relevant literature by searching electronic databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, Research Gate and JSTOR.

The study designs were quantitative survey, qualitative case study, qualitative focus group study, and concurrent equal status fully mixed method. These articles discussed the pandemic-specific FC services for CSNs globally, in the United States of America (USA), Spain, Singapore, India, and South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). The grey literature included a WHO document, government guidelines, master’s dissertation, webinar, magazine article, newspaper report, and a TV news report.

Subsequent stay-at-home orders marked a significant paradigm shift in delivering special needs child care globally. Disciplines caring CSNs developed home-centered programs and adopted online modalities for delivery. Parents became the key players in all services for CSNs. When paediatric rehabilitation in the developed countries completely transitioned to telehealth, institutional caregivers in Asian countries were exhausted with workload and distressed with multiple stressors. However, this scoping review illuminated many new avenues for research in the domain of formal care to special needs children in a pandemic context.    



formal care, children with special needs, paediatric rehabilitation, formal caregivers

Author Biographies

Rosaline Suvarna Latha, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Karnataka

Centre for Social Action (CSA)

Sheeja Karalam, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore

Associate Professor of Social Work, Department of Sociology & Social Work, CHRIST
(Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Jasmine Mathew, Rajagiri College, Kochi

Rajagiri Centre for Doctoral Research, Kochi, India

Shinto Joseph, Rajagiri College, Kochi

Rajagiri College of Social Sciences (Autonomous), Kochi, India


Additional Files

IJSE Vol 37, No: 1, 2022

Volume 37, Number: 1, Year 2022 of International Journal of Special Education