COVID-19 resources for social workers

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Using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak: full guidance for people receiving direct payments and personal assistants

Department of Health and Social Care

This document sets out key messages to support people in planning and receiving their care safely during the pandemic, including slowing the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and reducing the possibility of hospital admission or care breaking down. It is aimed at people of all ages ‒ children, young people and adults ‒ who receive support through their personal budgets or personal health budgets and take this as a direct payment. It is also relevant to family members, local authorities (LAs), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), providers and people who are employed through a direct payment, including PAs (including those who are self-employed). Topics covered include: flexible use of direct payments during the pandemic; continuation of direct payments; personal protective equipment (PPE); employment of individuals; the coronavirus job retention scheme; statutory sick pay (SSP) for PAs with COVID-19 like symptoms; testing; monitoring requirements; self-funders; and keeping safe. [Last updated 31 July 2020]

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

Learning from staff experiences of Covid-19: let the light come streaming in

King's Fund

Draws the lessons from health and social care staff experiences of Covid-19. It argues that the past few months have taught us that staff must have autonomy and control, feel a greater sense of belonging and be supported in order to have a sense of competence, rather than simply being overwhelmed by excessive workload.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

Rapid review: supervision

What Works Centre for Children's Social Care

A review of the literature on how supervision in child and family social work can be managed virtually and on the resulting implications for social workers, managers, children and families. Virtual supervision in social work is a relatively new and unfamiliar concept but the current COVID-19 pandemic has meant that it is now increasingly used as social work teams adapt. Behavioural science literature on virtual communications offers key insights, some of which are applicable to the context of virtual supervision, which include: management style matters (transformational leadership that motivates the workforce and generate new ideas); paying attention to building trust in a virtual setting; there may be gains to creative brainstorming – ideas and creative responses are generated more frequently in a virtual team setting, perhaps due to the less personal context; confirmation bias – the tendency to favour information that confirms one’s own values and beliefs – can be greater in virtual settings. The evidence appears to identify a number of approaches, actions and leadership styles that can promote effectiveness in virtual supervision. These include: encouraging the inclusion of preference-challenging information and structured conflict in decision-making; holding case discussions separate from the action-orientated, decision-making part of supervision to help find consensus on solutions; promoting employees’ competence, autonomy and relatedness; exploring opportunities for maintaining informal forms of supervision and ‘weak ties’ that could be lost in a virtual setting; and promoting trust.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: domestic abuse

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people who are, or have been, in a relationship. Between 23 March and 17 May 2020 the NSPCC helpline received 1,500 contacts from adults worried about the impact of domestic abuse on children, and Childline delivered over 500 counselling sessions to children and young people who were worried about domestic abuse. The key themes of these contacts include: reduced access to support networks; and lockdown bringing domestic abuse into sharp focus – making it harder to speak out, making it more difficult to leave, drinking during lockdown, exploiting fears about the coronavirus, young people worried about other family members.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

Coronavirus briefing: safeguarding guidance and information for schools

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing summarises the latest guidance for UK schools on safeguarding during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It pulls together key safeguarding guidance from all four UK nations on how to keep children safe during the pandemic. It answers frequently asked questions including: who has to go to school; how to monitor attendance; what happens if nominated child protection leads need to self-isolate or become ill; what schools should do about free school meals; and what happens with families who have contract arrangements or where parents are separated.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

Guide to remote court hearings

Transparency Project

This short guide explains what remote court hearings are and how they will work. It answers some common queries that users may have. It is aimed at parents involved in family court cases about their children – and anyone else involved in family court cases, regardless of whether or not they have a lawyer. The document address the following questions and concerns: what is a remote hearing; what is a hybrid hearing; what will happen at the remote hearing; how to join a remote hearing; whether there are costs to join; what devices, apps or software are needed; concerns about being able to work the technology; can I have someone with me during the remote hearing; needing to speak privately with the lawyer or supporter during the hearing; what if I want a face to face hearing; what if something goes wrong; what happens after the hearing; where can I find out more.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

Department of Health and Social Care

Brings together emergency guidance for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance ensures that decision makers are clear about the steps they need to take during this period. It focuses on new scenarios and potential ‘deprivations of liberty’ created by the outbreak. During the outbreak, the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the safeguards provided by the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) still apply. The MCA provides protection for people who lack or may lack the relevant mental capacity to make decisions about different aspects of their life. The DoLS are an important part of this act and provide further safeguards for those who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to receive care or treatment in a care home or hospital, but do not have the capacity to consent to those arrangements. [Published 9 April 2020. Last updated 15 June 2020]

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

Supporting care-experienced children and young people during the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath

British Psychological Society

This advice is intended for foster and kinship carers, adoptive parents, and professionals who work with care-experienced children in schools, residential care homes and other settings across the United Kingdom. The term ‘care-experienced’ is used with reference to all looked after and adopted children and those in kinship or residential care. The guidance has a focus on thinking about care-experienced children and young people particularly in relation to education during the Covid-19 pandemic. It covers self-care; support in feeling safe; stay connected; making the most of opportunities; and supporting transitions.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

Upholding ethical behaviour and human rights during COVID-19

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services

Lena Dominelli, Professor of Social Work at the University of Stirling, Chair of the IASSW Disaster Intervention, Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, and Chair of BASW’s special interest group on social work’s place in disasters (SPEDI), shares her reflections on upholding ethical behaviour, social justice and human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic [Published on 2 June 2020]

Last updated on hub: 15 June 2020

Social work during a health pandemic

British Association of Social Workers England

This briefing considers some of the issues for social workers involved in transdisciplinary, multiagency working in a COVID-19 team. The briefing covers: what is COVID-19 and its symptoms; what advice can social workers give to help people keep themselves, their families and communities safe; and what can social workers do to support health professionals and those affected by COVID-19. The Appendix to the briefing covers some pointers about helping people to develop self-help, self-care and resilience, especially in relation to helping people identify their strengths that they can use to reassure themselves and lessen their anxieties. This briefing complements BASW professional practice guidance: The role of social workers in a pandemic and its aftermath: learning from Covid-19.

Last updated on hub: 15 June 2020