COVID-19 resources for social workers

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Children’s social care: Government consultation response

Department for Education

Sets out the Government’s response to a consultation seeking views on proposed changes to the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. These are intended to provide flexibilities to support the effective delivery of children’s social care services, whilst ensuring children’s safety. A majority of responses were in favour of each of the proposals to extend individual regulations on medical reports, virtual visits, and the continued suspension of the regular cycle of Ofsted inspections of children’s services providers. The majority of responses also agreed that all other temporary flexibilities introduced in April 2020 should lapse and the need to introduce additional safeguards. However, many consultees also raised concerns in the way the regulations were introduced, and many felt the regulations should not be extended and should be revoked immediately. On the basis of responses to the consultation the Government has decided to continue with plans to allow the majority of regulations to lapse on 25 September, save those specifically set out in this document, on medical assessments, virtual visits and Ofsted inspections. The Government has no plans to extend the regulations beyond March 2021.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

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

Matching interventions and people: A decision-making tool to establish the best means of working with people

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This decision-making tool supports social workers and social care practitioners to decide the best format, or combination of formats, for a given interaction.

Last updated on hub: 14 August 2020

Ethical framework for adult social care in COVID-19: extended essay

University of Oxford

Essay published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, authored by Charlotte Bryony Elves and Jonathan Herring, University of Oxford. In March 2020, the Government produced a document entitled “Responding to COVID-19: The Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care” (‘The Ethical Framework’). This article, summarises the key features of the proposed ethical framework and subject it to critical analysis. This article highlights three primary issues. First, the emphasis placed on autonomy as the primary ethical principle. The authors argue if ever there was a context in which autonomy should dominate the ethical analysis, this is not it. Second, the authors examine the interface between ethics and law which is largely overlooked in the document. Finally, the authors explore the surprising lack of attention paid to the concept of responsibility and communal obligations within the framework.

Last updated on hub: 12 August 2020

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