COVID-19 resources

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NRPF: statement and guidance

British Association of Social Workers

This note sets out BASW’s position on No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF), the relevant legal and policy context and provides some guidance for social work practice. NRPF is one aspect of a range of immigration law, policy and practice in the UK. Those with NRPF cannot claim income-based benefits which includes (but is not limited to) child benefit, housing benefit, universal credit, income support, free school meals, disability living allowance or tax credits. BASW’s position is that the legislation, policies and practices of NRPF have a profoundly negative impact on the most vulnerable in society and when applied to those who are destitute, or who are faced with destitution, result in breaches of human rights law. The statement calls for a suspension of the NRPF condition so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive financial support during the Covid-19 outbreak; and for a comprehensive independent review of the model of NRPF in relation to those who are destitute, or who face destitution, with a view to the Government replacing the model with a system that is both adequately funded and resourced and is compliant with the UK’s commitments to human rights.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Opening schools safely in the COVID-19 era: school social workers’ experiences and recommendations: technical report

University of California

This report summarises initial findings from a national survey of school social workers’ (SSWs) (n=1,275) practising across the United States. Findings highlight serious challenges facing schools, school staff, and students. Some of these challenges are specifically related to educational goals, but many are related to basic needs that are a prerequisite to academic and social emotional learning. Many SSWs reported having limited to no contact with some of their students because they couldn’t establish a connection with them during the shutdown; they expressed significant concerns about the motivation and engagement of the 81% of students with whom they did work; and reported that a majority of their students and families had profound, immediate, and urgent needs related to food insufficiency (62.4%), housing instability (42.8), health issues (61.6%), individualised student tutoring (62.3%), and mental health services (75.7%). While findings speak to the dynamism and creativity of SSWs in this pandemic, findings also revealed many troubling and serious issues that need immediate attention as schools plan how to re-open in the fall. Implications for professional development, district supports, university training, and a national effort to reconnect a potential “lost generation of students” are discussed and outlined. The report makes a series of recommendations, including a call to action for the various school social work organisations to join together to help SSWs and their school communities respond effectively as the pandemic continues to impact on the academic and social experience of children.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

A perfect storm: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors and the services supporting them

Women’s Aid

This report presents findings from the first phase of a research project exploring the impact of Covid-19 on experiences of domestic abuse for adult and child survivors and the specialist domestic services supporting them. It draws on the analysis of data from existing service directories, a thematic analysis of trends, and initial and follow-up surveys of providers and survivors. Findings suggest that whilst the Covid-19 pandemic did not cause domestic abuse, it created a perfect storm of challenges for survivors and the services supporting them. The lockdown measures gave perpetrators a tool that they quickly learnt to use for coercion, manipulation and to induce fear. This in turn exposed survivors to worsening domestic abuse, whilst restricting their access to support. At the same time, the pandemic created challenges for the specialist domestic abuse support sector in providing life-saving support, including lost income, staff shortages and additional costs of remote working. The report argues that to address this perfect storm domestic abuse must be seen as a priority at the highest level within all work across government; businesses and communities need to play a critical role in raising awareness of abuse and signposting survivors to specialist support; the government must create a long-term sustainable funding solution for all support services; and the government must address the recommendations outlined by sector experts looking at the impact of Covid-19 on the experiences of Black and minoritised women, migrant women, Deaf and disabled women and other marginalised groups.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

House of Commons Library

This briefing describes the laying of the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 24 April 2020, its content, and reaction from the sector. The regulations temporarily amend ten sets of regulations relating to children’s social care in England. The briefing includes commentary from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, the Children’s Commissioner for England, and charity organisations. It also outlines the UK parliamentary proceedings in relation to the regulation and references relevant reports from the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Statutory Instruments.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

New term, new challenges, new opportunities: putting children’s mental health at the heart of education

BARNARDO'S. Northern Ireland

Findings from a survey of 167 education professionals in schools across Northern Ireland to shed a light on their experiences of the Covid-19 crisis so far, and their thoughts and concerns about the return to the classroom. This briefing highlights key lessons about the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people and outlines how schools are seeking to strengthen support for their pupils and the challenges they anticipate when the new term starts. Key findings include: the overwhelming majority of schools agreed that the pandemic impacted on their ability to provide mental health and wellbeing support to pupils – lack of direct, face-to-face contact with children and young people was identified as a key barrier to providing this support; nearly all respondents (96.1%) said they anticipate changes to the way their school will operate when pupils return, and the majority of respondents said that they would be prioritising mental health and wellbeing on the return to school; over 80% of participants sought an increase in funding to support mental health and wellbeing; and respondents said the best way to support them on the return to school is to ensure clear guidance and direct communication from the Department of Education and the Education Authority. The report includes recommendations for the government and ten top tips for schools.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

The neglect of adult social care during Covid-19

British Medical Association

An examination of the impact of Covid-19 on social care, focusing on failings in testing, namely hospital discharges of untested patients into care homes, and the inadequate provision of personal protective equipment. The article recognises the complex and fragmented structure of adult social care but argues that these complexities cannot be resolved by the NHS “taking over” social care; rather efforts should be renewed to achieve a lasting settlement for social care, understanding and valuing it in its own right, not just as an adjunct to the NHS.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

How to do ‘learning’ in practice

King's Fund

As the government and health and care organisations are starting to reflect on what can be learned from their experiences of dealing with Covid-19, this article draws on insights from the literature on organisational learning to outline the key features of a productive ‘learning’ environment and process. These include: bearing witness to people’s experiences; paying attention to who you should be learning from and with, and how; capitalising on the learning that is already happening in practice; and being seriously curious about the positives.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Children of COVID-19: pawns, pathfinders or partners?

British Medical Association

Opinion piece published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, 46(8) 2020. Countries throughout the world are counting the health and socioeconomic costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the strategies necessary to contain it. Profound consequences from social isolation are beginning to emerge, and there is an urgency about charting a path to recovery, albeit to a ‘new normal’ that mitigates them. Children have not suffered as much from the direct effects of COVID-19 infection as older adults. Still, there is mounting evidence that their health and welfare are being adversely affected. Closure of schools has been a critical component of social isolation but has a far broader impact than the diminution of educational opportunities, as important as these are. Reopening of schools is therefore essential to recovery, with some countries already tentatively implementing it. Children’s interests are vital considerations in any recovery plan, but the question remains as to how to address them within the context of how society views children; should they be regarded as pawns, pathfinders or partners in this enterprise?

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Care homes innovate to reunite residents and families during lockdown

Care Home Professional

From drive-throughs to visitor pods, garden and window visits to cuddle curtains, this article looks at the innovative ways care home providers have been going about bringing care residents and relatives back together during Covid-19 lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Care Provider Alliance Coronavirus (COVID-19) directory

Care Provider Alliance

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) are collating and signposting to the latest guidance and advice from reliable sources on their website. The resource includes news, guidance and information. The site is updated frequently.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020