We know that as a consequence of the changes to how we go about our daily lives at present, the risk to many vulnerable children and families might increase. We anticipate rises in domestic abuse and parental mental health issues as families spend more time in isolation and may be anxious about the unfolding situation; there will be greater demands on families already experiencing poverty and all this at a time when many children are out of sight of key services, such as schools. As a consequence, its clear that all services need to do more with less so that we can continue to meet the needs of these children together.
Our weekly newsletter will provide an update direct to your inbox. If you haven’t already signed up you can do so below. But as the situation changes daily you can access all the latest information here.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers (DfE) 27.03.2020
- Joint Communication from Department for Education and Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (104KB, pdf.) 30.03.2020
- DfE Letter to SEND Sector (328KB pdf)
- Letter to Early Years & Childcare Providers DfE (142KB pdf.)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children’s social care services
- NHS & Social Care Staff – Check if a COVID 19 patient has an attorney or deputy
- Supporting Vulnerable Children and Young People during the Coronavirus Outbreak – DfE guidance to Education Settings and Local Authorities 19.04.20
- Coronavirus: SEND Risk Assessment Guidance DfE
- COVID-19 Multi-Agency Practice Standards 01.05.2020 – During this Pandemic we recognise that services may have depleted staff resource. So, whilst staying in line with WT18 guidance we have agreed with our three Statutory Partners – Police, Children’s Services and Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, a set of minimum expectations for all multi-agency partners. We believe these standards strike the balance between keeping our children and those staff who protect them, safe. It is important that we all continue to ‘play our part’ and ensure that multi-agency working continues throughout this hugely challenging time for everyone.
- Multi-agency Covid-19 Home Visit Risk Assessment updated 01.5.20 – Each service area may have other considerations that they need to account for but we are sharing this in the hope that it proves useful for adaptation.
- E-Learning Safeguarding Training – Whilst our face to face training is currently on hold there remains a range of e-learning courses that you can still access
Some children and adults could be facing increased risks as we are all asked to stay at home. Social distancing and self-isolation could be used as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour by people with abusing behaviours to shut down routes to safety and support.
Whilst we need to consider the children and families that we work with, let’s not forget about colleagues who may also be at risk.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 999.
Advice and support
Links to local support services can be accessed here:
More information around local and national support and advice available can be found on the Council domestic abuse webpages, including specific pages relating to professionals supporting someone with domestic abuse concerns.
The government have also issued advice and guidance which includes a range of National support services including for male victims https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse
Supporting a volunteer workforce
There’s been a fantastic response to the call for volunteers nationally and locally. Whilst some will likely have safeguarding awareness from their current or previous roles, many more may not. They will be playing a vital role within our communities and can be the eyes and ears for our safeguarding services so it’s as important as ever to ensure that they supported to recognise and know how to respond to signs of abuse and neglect as this short video illustrates (our thanks to Waltham Forest Council for allowing us to use it)
- Community & Volunteer Covid 19 Poster – We’ve created a visual to support the message to volunteers and the wider community (with thanks to Rochdale Safeguarding Partnership for sharing their template). Please circulate this via social media and websites to help us spread the word.
- Safeguarding Induction Booklet – We’ve refreshed our Safeguarding Induction Booklet and would ask that all volunteers are provided with a copy to digest before you engage them with families.
Mental health and Wellbeing websites and Apps
At times like this we will have concerns for ourselves, our families, our colleagues and those in the community that we support. There is lots of information available, both within organisations and at national level, to support you but here’s a list of great resources all in one place that you can share
Helps teens cope with anxiety
Strategies and tools to help deal with everyday anxiety.
Talk to online counsellors about panic or anxiety www.nopanic.org.uk
|Smiling Mind App
Mindfulness meditation Free app developed by psychologists and educators for young people aged 7-18.
The advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives
Support for Under 25s emotional and mental health. Trusted by the NHS
Phone, text and online support with trained counsellors
|Happy Not Perfect App
Supported by science. Designed by people
Includes simple exercises to help with mental wellbeing
Kooth offers free, safe, anonymous support
|What’s up? App
Cognitive Behavioural Techniques
Using a mixture of CBT to help support
MindEd is a free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults
|Shout -Text 85258
Mental health support offered 24/7 via text messaging service
Strategies, support and help for children and young people suffering with their mental health.
If you are taking drugs or are thinking about taking them then Frank can educate you on the implications.
Includes a Mood-self assessment and audio guides for a range of mental health conditions
|Every Mind Matters
Information and Advice on how you can help others struggling with Mental Health
Cheshire West & Chester and NHS
Support and information services in Cheshire West and Chester
| Mental Health Foundation
Part of the national mental health response providing support to address the mental health and psychosocial aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak
Resources to use with children
- Undertaking remote teaching safely – Advice for schools from the NSPCC
- How to have difficult conversations with children – NSPCC
- Talking to children about Coronavirus – British Psychological Society
- Childline Resources on Coronavirus
- Think you Know Activities – Online Safety Activity Packs from CEOP
- Coronavirus: here’s some advice if you’re worried about it – CBBCs
- Hello I’m a Virus workbook – Mindheart
- Dave the Dog – A story about coronavirus for young children by Nurse Dotty Books
- Children’s Guide to Coronavirus – Children’s Commissioner
Resources to use with parents
Parental Conflict Worksheets – This information, provided by One Plus One, is part of the How to Argue Better training and provides activities for parents to help them understand more about their behaviours and how they can talk more and argue less
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