COVID-19 resources on safeguarding children

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Coronavirus and me

Children's Commissioner for Wales

Sets out initial findings of a consultation on the experiences of children and young people in Wales in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The consultation captured information about the lives of over 23,700 children between the ages of 3-18 and run for a two-week period during lockdown. It focuses on children’s mental health and wellbeing, their ability to access to support, their education and learning, and their ability to play. The data shows that more than a third of children worried about Coronavirus, having concerns about how long the situation would last and fears that they or their loved ones might catch it. The majority report that they know where to get help for their mental and wellbeing needs but only 39 per cent feel confident seeking school counselling at the current time.

Last updated on hub: 25 June 2020

Responding to the ‘Shadow Pandemic’: practitioner views on the nature of and responses to violence against women in Victoria, Australia during the COVID-19 restrictions

Monash University

This report presents the findings from a survey to capture the voices and experiences of practitioners responding to women experiencing violence during the COVID-19 shutdown in Victoria, Australia. With more people confined to their homes to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, there is a greater risk of violence against women and children. The analysis of practitioner responses to the survey found that the pandemic has led to: an increase in the frequency and severity of violence against women (VAW); an increase in the complexity of women’s needs; for 42 per cent of respondents, an increase in first-time family violence reporting by women; enhanced tactics to achieve social isolation and forms of violence specifically relating to the threat and risk of COVID-19 infection; for many women experiencing violence during the lockdown period, there was less ability to seek help; service innovations have occurred across Victoria to enhance accessibility and effectiveness of service delivery during the COVID-19 easing of restrictions and recovery phase; numerous challenges to providing support, undertaking effective risk assessment and carrying out safety planning during the COVID-19 shutdown phase. The research also draws attention to the wellbeing considerations for practitioners working remotely to support women experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to develop worker supports as restrictions are eased and a period of recovery is entered.

Last updated on hub: 24 June 2020

Supporting ‘off-radar’ children and young people who are at risk of violence/abuse in their household: Part 1 (interim report)

Survivors’ Voices

This survivor-led report contains relevant possible actions to support children who are 'off-radar' (unknown to any statutory services) during and post pandemic 'lockdown' periods. It provides an initial collation and thematic analysis of the results of a survivor-led and rapid-response survey. This was targeted at people who had experience of being abused as children whilst unknown to safeguarding or support services, in order to capture the wisdom of lived experience regarding what practical actions may help reach this population. Actions and recommendations cover a range of topics and thematic areas, which are grouped into the settings to which they apply. These include: schools, nurseries, and childcare; other statutory services; youth organisations and other voluntary agencies and services that work with young people; government and national and international agencies; communities and families. The report suggests that the overwhelming consensus is that there is a need for a major awareness-raising and information campaign using TV/media and a variety of social and other media; and to develop ways to ensure children and young people can communicate with those who can help, including apps, a free phone helpline and web-based links.

Last updated on hub: 17 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

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

Social Work England and PCFSW best practice guide for assessing online risks, harm and resilience and safeguarding of children and young people online

Principal Children and Families Social Worker Network

A practice guide to help support social workers to think about and assess online risks, harm and resilience and safeguarding children and young people online. The guide is aimed at social work and social care practitioners and managers, as well as qualifying social work students. It includes a framework for assessing online risks, harm and resilience; a framework for the holistic assessment of children and families; and a practice tool that can be used with young people and their families for assessing online risks and resilience. The guide has been developed by Social Work England and the Principal Children and Families Social Worker (PCFSW) network in consultation with practitioners, managers and the PCFSW reference group. Version last updated: 26 May 2020.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Coronavirus briefing: guidance for social workers

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

A summary of guidance for social workers and social work practitioners who are working with children and families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The briefing brings together key guidance from all four UK nations to answer some frequently asked questions. Areas covered include: the social work workforce, including ensuring there are sufficient social workers to support children and families; how the coronavirus is affecting the child protection system; and the impact on direct work with children and families. [Published 22 May 2020. Updated 1 July 2020]

Last updated on hub: 27 May 2020

Safeguarding in faith-based organisations during the COVID-19 crisis

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Safeguarding for faith-based organisations during the COVID-19 crisis. Part of the Safeguarding Training Fund; funded by the National Lottery and DCMS.

Last updated on hub: 14 May 2020

Professional practice guidance for children and families social work during Covid-19

British Association of Social Workers England

Practice guidance support frontline practitioners and provide a framework to influence good practice within the workplace, as well as helping social workers to manage the ethical and emotional impact of their work. Developed by the British Association of Social Workers, the guidance is based on best available evidence, latest public health guidance, practice experience. It highlights the importance of strengths-based and relationship-based practice. It also provides a checklist to help social workers to order their thinking when working with vulnerable children and their families and when meeting their own support needs. It includes links to resources and organisations providing additional support for children, families and their social workers.

Last updated on hub: 11 May 2020

The PCFSW and Social Work England best practice guide for video call/contact and virtual/online home visit

Principal Children and Families Social Worker Network

Best practice guidance to support social work and social care practitioners and managers in thinking about ethical, practical, and professional aspects of video call/contact and virtual/online home visits. It includes information on: planning a call, ensuring appropriate boundaries and specific points for home visits and online child protection conferences. The guidance was developed by the Principal Children and Families Social Worker (PCFSW) Network and Social Work England and has been informed by practitioners and managers. It has been developed in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and the period of transition out of the current lockdown and will be updated in response to changing circumstances.

Last updated on hub: 11 May 2020