COVID-19 resources on safeguarding children

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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

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

COVID-19: pre-employment vetting guidance health and social care providers

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland

This guidance explains temporary changes to pre-employment vetting policy for health and social care roles during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to make it quicker for employers to do this so that new or temporary staff and volunteers can be put in place at short notice.

Last updated on hub: 28 April 2020

Delivering a Coronavirus recovery that works for children: summary and recommendations

The Children's Society

This briefing sets out an approach to delivering a recovery from the impact of COVID-19 that works for all children. Such an approach is underpinned by a set of principles, including taking an integrated and holistic approach, promoting children’s rights and entitlements, treating children as partners, reducing inequalities, committing to a comprehensive, long-term funding settlement, responding to the changed needs, investing in the workforce, adopting relationship-based, person-centred models of care. Experts from across the children’s sector have been working closely together to produce a set of briefings summarised in this paper. These briefings build on these principles to begin to set out an approach to delivering a recovery which works for children across six key areas: child poverty and social security; mental health and wellbeing; early years recovery; supporting children in care and care leavers; safeguarding and child protection; and school returns.

Last updated on hub: 29 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

Domestic violence and abuse: Safeguarding during the COVID-19 crisis

Social Care Institute for Excellence

A guide aimed at those supporting adults and children who are experiencing domestic abuse during the coronavirus crisis.

Last updated on hub: 22 April 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

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

Lessons from lockdown: supporting vulnerable children and young people returning to school and to learning

Barnardo's UK

This briefing highlights what Action for Children Cymru and Barnardo’s Cymru have learnt from their services, practitioners, and partners in schools about the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable children, young people and their families. It explores what might facilitate their recovery and promote their development as we emerge from the crisis. In particular it explores the support that may be needed in, and for, schools to support the mental health and well-being of vulnerable children and young people as they transition back into the learning environment; and to support vulnerable families so that, where possible, children and young people can remain at home safely and improve their well-being, development and learning. The evidence suggests that during a time of pandemic more children and families will require a range of support over the short to medium term. In order to address this expected need the briefing recommends a set of actions, including reviewing the Together for Mental Health Delivery plan to extend access to additional lower tier, non-clinical community based services, to all families with school aged children.

Last updated on hub: 14 July 2020

No way out: children stuck in B&Bs during lockdown

Children’s Commissioner for England

An analysis of the impact of Covid-19 crisis, drawing on data from the 15 local authorities with the highest numbers of children in B&B accommodation. This research estimates that there were between 1,100 – 2,000 families in England in B&Bs on 23 March. It is estimated that this range has dropped to between 750 and 1,350 by the time full lockdown ended on 31 May. Furthermore, there was an increase in the proportion of families who had spent longer than 6 weeks in B&Bs between 23 March and 31 May, despite this being unlawful. The report argues that while living in a B&B has never been appropriate for a child, the problems have been amplified during Covid-19. Unable to attend school, children living in cramped conditions were struggling to complete schoolwork, putting them at a distinct disadvantage from their peers. Although families were technically still able to go to parks for their exercise during this time, many families were too anxious to do so. The stresses of living in a B&B are heightened when families share the building with vulnerable adults also being housed by the council or other services, such as those with mental health or drug abuse problems – being unable to escape the B&B during lockdown would have increased feelings of anxiety. In addition, the lockdown, reduced the opportunities for contact between homeless families and the professionals that normally protect them. The Children’s Commissioner calls for: support for children who were homeless during lockdown; all families housed in B&Bs to be moved out of them in the event of further local or national lockdowns; and action to prevent new family homelessness in the coming weeks and months.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020