COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Opening schools safely in the COVID-19 era: school social workers’ experiences and recommendations: a research brief for policymakers

University of California

This policy brief presents data from a national survey of school social workers (SSWs) exploring the impacts of COVID-19 school disruptions in the United States. It highlights the need to address hunger, housing instability, health, mental health and other challenges that a high proportion of students are experiencing, especially low-income students. From a capacity perspective, SSWs in the study report that sizable proportions of students are suffering from difficulties due to discrimination, family discord, child abuse, language difficulties, and community violence; SSWs are called to perform the same Herculean tasks that face other educators and school staff in this pandemic but there are concerns that this work is being done with few resources, outside supports, or governmental guidance; greater supports, like the personal protective equipment (PPE) given to health care professions, are needed for educational staff and social workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic. The paper argues that given SSWs’ ecological view and historical commitment to under-served communities, their voices should be heard in planning school reopening. Based on the findings from the survey, the brief recommends the following actions: create a rapid-response team of school professionals from multiple fields to develop a systemic, national response to support schools; prioritise the response to the most hard-hit schools and communities; develop three evidence-driven national plans, one for in-person instruction, one for online, and one for a hybrid; provide additional supports and resources, including more trained social workers sent to the most stressed schools and communities.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Opening schools safely in the COVID-19 era: school social workers’ experiences and recommendations: technical report

University of California

This report summarises initial findings from a national survey of school social workers’ (SSWs) (n=1,275) practising across the United States. Findings highlight serious challenges facing schools, school staff, and students. Some of these challenges are specifically related to educational goals, but many are related to basic needs that are a prerequisite to academic and social emotional learning. Many SSWs reported having limited to no contact with some of their students because they couldn’t establish a connection with them during the shutdown; they expressed significant concerns about the motivation and engagement of the 81% of students with whom they did work; and reported that a majority of their students and families had profound, immediate, and urgent needs related to food insufficiency (62.4%), housing instability (42.8), health issues (61.6%), individualised student tutoring (62.3%), and mental health services (75.7%). While findings speak to the dynamism and creativity of SSWs in this pandemic, findings also revealed many troubling and serious issues that need immediate attention as schools plan how to re-open in the fall. Implications for professional development, district supports, university training, and a national effort to reconnect a potential “lost generation of students” are discussed and outlined. The report makes a series of recommendations, including a call to action for the various school social work organisations to join together to help SSWs and their school communities respond effectively as the pandemic continues to impact on the academic and social experience of children.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

The neglect of adult social care during Covid-19

British Medical Association

An examination of the impact of Covid-19 on social care, focusing on failings in testing, namely hospital discharges of untested patients into care homes, and the inadequate provision of personal protective equipment. The article recognises the complex and fragmented structure of adult social care but argues that these complexities cannot be resolved by the NHS “taking over” social care; rather efforts should be renewed to achieve a lasting settlement for social care, understanding and valuing it in its own right, not just as an adjunct to the NHS.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Care Provider Alliance Coronavirus (COVID-19) directory

Care Provider Alliance

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) are collating and signposting to the latest guidance and advice from reliable sources on their website. The resource includes news, guidance and information. The site is updated frequently.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

National Care Forum COVID-19 guidance and resources

National Care Forum

The COVID-19 section of the National Care Forum (NCF) website is a good source for government guidance and information relevant to the care sector. The resource includes links to information about: infection control, CPA Visitors’ Protocol, clinical guidance, regulation, information governance, workforce, supported housing and homeless, volunteering wellbeing and other practical resources.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Putting children first in future lockdowns

Children’s Commissioner for England

Sets out the key actions needed to ensure children are at the heart of planning for any future coronavirus lockdowns. The briefing focuses on a range of aspects and settings, including education, early years, mental health, play and activity, online harms, housing, children’s social care, and secure settings. It sets out ten principles that should guide any policy and action, arguing that children’s perspectives must be better reflected in scientific and public health advice; education should be prioritised over other sectors; full lockdowns must balance the epidemiological benefit to children against the social and health costs to children of closures to schools, leisure/youth centres and other facilities; any rights extended to adults must also be given to children in ways that work for them (e.g., right to exercise outdoor); communication about the lockdown must make clear that risk of infection should not prevent children and families seeking help they need, such as urgent healthcare which is not related to the virus or refuge from domestic abuse. The briefing also argues that more specific guidance is needed for children’s homes and further guidance should be issued to local authorities to prioritise the safeguarding of vulnerable children during any future lockdown, including those who do not currently have a social worker. Local authorities should also be working with local partners to proactively identify children who become vulnerable during the lockdown, including in families where domestic abuse may have arisen or increased or where parental substance misuse or mental health problems have escalated.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

Babies in lockdown: listening to parents to build back better

Best Beginnings

Findings from an online survey of over 5,000 mothers, fathers and other co-parents, capturing the experiences of parents coping with the implications of COVID-19 lockdown, and highlighting the lack of support for families, and the inequalities in babies’ early experiences. The report reveals that almost 7 in 10 respondents found their ability to cope with their pregnancy or baby had been impacted as a result of COVID-19; nearly 7 in 10 felt the changes brought about by COVID-19 were affecting their unborn baby, baby or young child; only one third expressed confidence in being able to access mental health support if required; and many families with lower incomes, from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and young parents have been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic and were less likely to receive the support they needed. The report makes three policy calls: a one-off Baby Boost to enable local services to support families who have had a baby during or close to lockdown; a new Parent-Infant Premium providing new funding for local commissioners, targeted at improving outcomes for the most vulnerable children; and significant and sustained investment in core funding to support families from conception to age two and beyond, including in statutory services, charities and community groups.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tips for the housing sector on supporting someone affected by dementia

Housing LIN

This briefing sets out a number of top tips for the housing sector, operators and commissioners of specialist housing – such as extra care or retirement housing – or general needs housing, on supporting people affected by dementia during the coronavirus pandemic. It also signposts to a selection of useful links and further practical advice. People living with dementia normally thrive on familiarity; familiar faces, a familiar environment, familiar food, and familiar routines, all of which may be compromised by the enforced period of isolation necessary to fight the coronavirus. The top tips highlight some of the best practice and legal issues in supporting decisions that might need to be made about health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak; considers how to continue to provide practical assistance, support and manage risks; and provides information on maintaining meaningful activity and minimising loneliness during this period of enforced isolation.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

Care homes and supported living: Learning and sharing following the COVID-19 lockdown

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Practice examples and resources to support care home and supported living staff.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

COVID-19: guidance for supported living

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance sets out key messages to assist with planning and preparation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic so that local procedures can be put in place to minimise risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings. It describes safe systems of working including, social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning and examines how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings. Key topics covered include: steps that supported living providers and local authorities can take to maintain service delivery; risk assessment, risk reduction and local implementation; staff within clinically vulnerable groups; general infection prevention and control; visitors and support bubbles; what to do if a supported living worker has COVID-19 symptoms; and what to do if someone in supported living has symptoms of COVID-19. This guide updates and builds on the previous advice to supported living providers, which was withdrawn on 13 May 2020. [Published 6 August 2020. Last updated 17 May 2021]

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020

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