COVID-19 resources on safeguarding children

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for parents and carers to keep children safe online

Home Office

Advice and guidance to help parents and carers to keep children safe online during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As a result of the measures introduced during the lockdown, children are likely to be spending more time online. Whilst there are benefits to being online in order to stay connected to family and friends during this period, this guidance recognises many parents may feel concerned about the activities and content their children are accessing. It signposts to organisations, programmes, advice and resources covering: child sexual abuse; radicalising content; sexting (youth-produced sexual imagery); cyberbullying; age-inappropriate content and parental controls; apps to help children stay safe online; suicide content; and support for children. [Published 14 April 2020. Last updated 25 June 2020]

Last updated on hub: 02 July 2020

Isolated and struggling: social isolation and the risk of child maltreatment, in lockdown and beyond

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing pulls together research evidence to explore whether the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic heighten the risk of child maltreatment in the UK. From the analysis of a range of different risks and issues three main areas of risk were identified: 1. Increase in stressors to parents and caregivers – the evidence confirms that the risk of child abuse is higher when caregivers become overloaded by the stressors in their lives and there are indications that the coronavirus pandemic has increased stressors on caregivers; 2. Increase in children and young people's vulnerability – there are indications that the conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have heightened the vulnerability of children and young people to certain types of abuse, for example online abuse, abuse within the home, criminal exploitation and child sexual exploitation; 3. Reduction in normal protective services – there is evidence that the ‘normal’ safeguards have been reduced during the pandemic but social connections and social support can provide a protective effect for children’s safety and wellbeing. The report recommends a national and local response from governments and statutory agencies which includes practical steps such as: providing practical support to parents around income maximisation to reduce stresses caused by financial insecurity; addressing digital exclusion, ensuring all children have access to the technology they need to access school, therapeutic support and other services; comprehensive and long-term funding for children’s services, with at least £2 billion a year invested in early intervention and therapeutic services.

Last updated on hub: 02 July 2020

Domestic abuse: get help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Home Office

Guidance on how to get help for people who are victims of domestic violence or know someone who is a victim of domestic abuse. It acknowledges that coronavirus household isolation instructions can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse and makes it clear that those instructions do not apply if someone needs to leave their home to escape domestic abuse. The guidance covers the following topics: coronavirus (COVID-19) and domestic abuse; recognise domestic abuse; report it; get help if you, or someone you know, is a victim; economic abuse; welfare benefits and housing advice; get help if you think you may be an abuser; support for employers and professionals; get legal help; What to do if you don’t have settled status in the UK. The guidance signposts to additional support materials. [Published 5 October 2018. Last updated 6 August 2020]

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Responding to the challenges of COVID-19: guidance for practitioners working with domestic abuse perpetrators

Respect

This document offers advice to professionals and practitioners who are working with domestic abuse perpetrators during the COVID-19 crisis. It is based on the learning from conversations with accredited services working with perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse and national and international experts. The document recommends that all practitioners follow their own organisation’s health and safety guidance, safeguarding procedures and business and contingency protocols. When considering any changes to existing service provision, a set of principles, outlined in the Respect Service Standard, remain important. They are: safety first; do not harm; the system matters; support for the staff. The document also signposts to additional resources, advice and support services.

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: safe and rapid recruitment

Skills for Care

Brings together guidance to support safe and rapid recruitment of social care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and signposts to relevant resources. In these unprecedented times, it is important that the safety and wellbeing of people using care services remains a priority. The guiding principles set out in the guidance are intended to address the additional workforce recruitment challenges that employers of all sizes face. They cover: value-based recruitment; recruiting from the local community; robust employment checks; training, sustaining and retaining; and distance recruitment and virtual interviewing.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Home learning during the Covid-19 lockdown: the impact of school closures on care experienced children

Adoption UK

This report examines the challenges of supporting vulnerable children’s learning during the COVID-19 lockdown and makes recommendations for the months ahead. To find out about the impact of school closures on care experienced children, a week-long survey was carried out in April for parents and carers of care-experienced children who would normally be in school. There were 674 responses, which form the basis for this report. The survey revealed that the lockdown has had significant impacts on families, both positive and negative. Some have reported severe challenges, including increases in challenging behaviour, violence and aggression, and concerns about the mental wellbeing of both children and adults in the household. However, some families have reaped positive benefits, enjoying spending more time with their children and having more conversations with them, with many reporting that their children seem calmer without the stress of school. The report argues that planning now for the re-opening of school settings is crucial. It recommends that Governments in all four nations of the UK provide additional funding and resources to help schools support children, include support with learning and with wellbeing. In addition, specific guidance should be given to schools about supporting care experienced children and those with special and additional learning needs during school closures.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Coronavirus briefing: safeguarding guidance for early years

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing summarises government guidance on safeguarding and child protection for early years settings during the COVID-19 pandemic in the four UK nations. Topics covered include: early years provision; regulations; safeguarding and child protection; staffing and recruitment; and child welfare. The briefing answers frequently asked questions including: whether nurseries, preschools and registered childminders should still be providing childcare; whether nannies, au pairs and babysitters can still provide childcare; what to do if a child’s usual registered or regulated childcare provider is closed; whether there have been changes to early years childcare standards during the coronavirus pandemic; and how childcare settings can support and protect children who are not attending.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Safe recruitment

Skills for Care

Safeguarding people who need care and support remains as important as ever. Led by Dominic Headley, one of the UK’s leading experts in safer recruitment, this webinar explores best practice emergency processes which support faster recruitment of staff during COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

An introduction to DBS checks in the social care sector

Skills for Care

This webinar – delivered by DBS – aims to improve confidence and understanding of using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) eligibility toolkit, the COVID-19 barred list fast track and free of charge checks and making a barring referral.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020