COVID 19 UPDATE: PLYMOUTH ARRANGEMENTS – 3 April 2020
The PSCP recognise that the COVID-19 virus is putting increasing pressure on all services providing support to children, young people and families. In this changing landscape safeguarding continues to be a priority, however we recognise that we will all have to develop ways of doing things differently.
Government guidance may change over the coming days and weeks so please make sure you are kept informed and up to date with any new advice or guidance being produced, and adjust your ways of working as appropriate. On 3 April 2020 the DfE published guidance for local authorities on children’s social care. This contains helpful principles and guidance on multi-agency working. Please click here.
As practitioners we need to consider how we can maintain appropriate contact with the children, young people and families we work with, provide support at this difficult time as well as maintain business as usual as much as possible.
Please follow your own agency’s contingency plans for providing services to children, young people and families, however in what may be challenging circumstances we would remind practitioners to:
- Speak to families regarding any difficulties they may be experiencing due to spending more time together than usual, and signpost to where they can receive additional support. Help them to regulate their stress responses and recognise the emotional impact this is having on society.
- Remain vigilant for the signs and indicators of abuse, including neglect and domestic violence, and raise any safeguarding concerns in line with your agency’s procedures.
- If you suspect that a child or young person is being, or is at risk of being significantly harmed as a result of abuse or neglect, you must report this immediately in line with your agency’s procedures. See our Making a Referral page for contact information.
- Remember Plymouth’s principles of working as set out in the Plymouth Assessment Framework and Thresholds– people rarely live in complete isolation and therefore we need to understand the needs of the wider family when we are working with a child, parent or adult, talking more, continuing to effectively work together and making sure that all the people working with children, young people and adults in a family, plan and coordinate their work. This will need to be adapted using families’ social media links as we are in isolation.
- If you are using alternative methods such as social media and technology to keep in contact with children, young people and families, remember to do this in line with your agency’s policies and in a safe and appropriate manner.
For further information, click on the links below
- Covid-19 Guidance for Child Protection Conferences, Looked After Child Reviews and LADO
- Ofsted Rolling Guidance on COVID-19
- Information on Plymouth Voluntary Services
- Guidance for schools
- Guidance on vulnerable children and young people
- Guidance (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers
- Guidance (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings
- Guidance (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse
- SAFELIVES: End domestic abuse: support for professionals working with families
- Voucher Scheme launches for schools providing free school meals
Things to consider when visiting families
Please work in accordance with your agency guidance. Only essential visits should be undertaken as we work through the current crisis. It is of utmost importance that if you are working with children or families that you consider both their health and yours prior to any visits or contact.
Staff, should follow national guidance if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or, high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others.
- Follow your own agency’s advice on making contact with children, young people and families. If you are using alternative methods such as social media and technology to keep in contact with children, young people and families remember to do this in line with your agency’s policies and in a safe and appropriate manner.
- Ensure you follow all the relevant guidance of minimising the spread of infection both prior to, and after being in contact with a family or child / young person.
- Encourage families to follow government guidance on minimising the spread of infection and help them to be aware of the risks COVID-19 has on those with compromised or underlying health conditions.
- If you are due to visit a child or family with a compromised or underlying health condition make sure you are aware of the current COVID-19 guidance within your agency and speak to your manager for advice before your visit.
If you have been knowingly in contact with a child or family (including your own) displaying any symptoms of being unwell then phone your manager for advice before returning to the office or visiting another child or family.
South West Child Protection Procedures – COVID 19
A reminder to use the resource South West Child Protection Procedures. These pages include important information on COVID19 and collates useful information across adults and children’s services in one place, and links to relevant guidance as it becomes available.
Following the introduction of the Coronavirus Act, you also have access to an additional COVID Standalone Resource https://www.proceduresonline.com/resources/covid19/ which contains relevant changes and information as they relate to key procedures.