‘Can you hear me?’……. ‘You’re on mute.’……….. ‘I’ll turn my camera off, that might help.’ These are phrases we are becoming more and more familiar with during Covid-19 as we’ve moved some or most of our professional conversations online.

When it comes to having online or virtual contact with children and families we’ve equally had to adapt our ways of thinking and doing to ensure we still understand what life is like for them.

Interestingly we have seen for some young people engagement is improving as they now find themselves communicating with us in ways they are much more comfortable with.

However we also know we can potentially lose a lot of context when interacting online. This can particularly be the case when it comes to getting a sense of a child’s physical living conditions and understanding the impact of Covid-19 on parenting in families already struggling to cope.

So, this 60 Second Briefing signposts you below to 3 sources of information. They provide helpful suggestions of how to have virtual contact with children and families whilst maximising the opportunity of being able to truly understand what a day in their life is like. They also explore how parenting may be affected by Covid-19 and what this means for child/parent interaction. Some of the guidance is aimed specifically at social work or health colleagues but parts are equally applicable across the professional network so please take a look.

If you’re currently using other guidance that you’ve found helpful on this topic please share with us and we can post it here for others to benefit from. You can send your suggestions to caroline.wilson@plymouth.gov.uk

To access Professor Jan Horwath’s analysis on how neglectful parents may (not a given) respond to Covid-19 and lock down click here.

To access the Principal Children and Families Social Worker Network guidance on conducting video calls and virtual home visits click here.

To access Standing Together’s guide for healthcare professionals on responding to domestic abuse, including how to manage virtual/phone contact, please click here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *