COVID-19 resources for social workers

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Child suicide rates during the COVID-19 pandemic in England: real-time surveillance

National Child Mortality Database (NCMD)

This briefing describes the findings from a real-time surveillance system (which was set up to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic) relating to child death by suicide in England during lockdown. The report identifies likely suicides between 1 January 2020 and 17 May 2020, and compared rates before and during lockdown (a comparison was also made with deaths occurring at a similar time in 2019). In 2020, during the 82 days before lockdown, there were 26 likely child suicides and a further 25 in the first 56 days of lockdown. In 12 of the 25 post-lockdown deaths, factors related to Covid-19 or lockdown were thought to have contributed to the deaths. While there is a concerning signal that child suicide deaths may have increased during the first 56 days of lockdown, the risk remains low and numbers are too small to reach definitive conclusions. Amongst the likely suicide deaths reported after lockdown, restriction to education and other activities, disruption to care and support services, tensions at home and isolation appeared to be contributing factors. Although the finding of increased risk is unconfirmed statistically, clinicians and services should be aware of the possible increase and the need for vigilance and support.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

Supervision and social care practice in the time of COVID-19

Research In Practice: Dartington

A suite of resources to support supervision in the context of COVID-19. The pandemic, and consequent need for social distancing, have required a reorganisation of every aspect of social care practice, including supervision. The resources are intended to strengthen the effectiveness of remote supervision, building resilience, working with people who are experiencing grief and loss, as well as thinking about social work in the context of a crisis.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

Best interests decisions: A COVID-19 quick guide

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This quick guide aims to help people across social care and health settings to apply its provisions about making best interests decisions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Rapid review: contact

What Works Centre for Children's Social Care

Examines the evidence on how contact can be managed virtually and the implications for foster carers, adoptive parents, family members and children. In the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, there is a desire by local authorities to ensure that contact between family members is maintained, but that, wherever possible, it does not pose an increased infection risk. The findings suggest that increased contact between children and relatives could be beneficial or detrimental – more clear evidence is needed on this and social workers should assess on a case-by-case basis; contact via technology between service users and social workers may be two-way, whereby service users may also reach out at times that are convenient for them – however, the social worker should also establish boundaries to avoid burnout and maintain professionalism; there may need to be more thought given around enabling families to facilitate video-calling during these times, particularly to people who are at risk of being technology-constrained; children placed in residential or foster care may be more likely to be separated from siblings, and therefore facilitating contact for these groups of children and young people should be prioritised.

Last updated on hub: 08 July 2020

Impact of easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on domestic violence and abuse

Social Care Institute for Excellence

A quick guide developed to provide practical ideas for social care professionals about the impact on domestic violence and abuse as lockdown eases.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Let’s talk about... when someone is ill or dies from coronavirus. Online support for people with learning disabilities

Ann Craft Trust

Conversation prompts about loss, grief, and more practical things, such as social distancing at funerals in the context of COVID-19 outbreak. The resource explains how to run an online meeting for people with learning disabilities and how to talk about death. It features a set of ten pictures that can be used as prompts to help people with learning disabilities talk about the impact of coronavirus on their lives, and especially the impact of people dying from coronavirus. For each picture, there are conversation prompts to do with the picture, followed by conversation prompts that help people relate the picture to their own lives. The pictures can be used in online meetings with people with learning disabilities or when meeting face-to-face with one person or a group.

Last updated on hub: 02 July 2020

Research Briefing One: child protection, social distancing and risks from COVID-19

University of Birmingham

This briefing shares some emerging findings about the challenges of achieving social distancing during child protection work, especially on home visits, and how children and families and social workers can be kept safe from COVID-19. The data shows that social workers, family support workers and their managers have worked creatively in addressing the complex practical and moral dilemmas they have faced in implementing social distancing guidance and in aspiring to best practice in helping children and families. The briefing focuses in particular on the implication of going into homes, the impossibility of social distancing, and virtual home visits; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use and dilemmas; and the professional values that guide social workers’ decisions about whether or not to conduct in person visits, including selflessness, public accountability and leadership. On the basis of the very early findings from this research, the briefing advises that social work staff should be told that they do not have to take any personal risks they do not feel comfortable with; staff doing visits inside family homes need to be provided with full PPE while other creative ways of seeing children, like in gardens, on walks, and on virtual visits, need to continue; social work leaders and managers at all levels need to address organisational anxieties by constantly being clear with frontline staff that how their practice and record keeping is evaluated will take full account of the constraints placed on their work by COVID-19 and social distancing.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Children’s social care guide to keeping families safe from domestic abuse throughout the COVID-19 emergency

SafeLives

This guidance is for professionals working in children’s social care including children's social workers, family practitioners and early help teams during the COVID-19 crisis. The guide is structured around the following areas: coordination and multi-agency working; risk assessment and risk management; safety planning; children and young people; forced marriage, ‘honour’-based violence and abuse; perpetrators; child or adolescent to parent violence and abuse. There is an appendix with a list of resources, links and additional reading, including a list of helplines for both adult and child victims and those perpetrating abuse.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

COVID-19: research studies on children and young people's views

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

This portal collates completed and ongoing studies on how children and young people are experiencing the impact of covid-19, and lockdown – from their education to staying at home with family, from the way they access health and support services to their emotional health and wellbeing.

Last updated on hub: 22 June 2020

COVID-19: meeting the psychological needs of people with learning/intellectual disabilities, and their families and staff

British Psychological Society

Guidance to support health and social care professionals to meet the psychological needs of people with learning and intellectual disabilities, their families and carers. It explores the different psychological factors that may influence and impact the wellbeing of people with learning or intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis and highlights where psychologists can offer support and signposts professionals to helpful resources. Specifically, the guidance considers: the protective factors, the precipitating and maintaining factors, the psychological interventions/actions that may be available, and what may be important during the recovery/transformation phase.

Last updated on hub: 22 June 2020