Covid -19 Pandemic and Recovery Response

Safeguarding Children during the Covid – 19 Pandemic and recovery period

Liverpool Safeguarding Children’s Partnership is committed to ensuring that during the current Covid-19 situation, safeguarding children and young people remains a priority for all partners.

We recognise that the COVID-19 virus is putting increasing pressure on all services providing support to children, young people and families. In this changing landscape safeguarding continues to be a priority, however we recognise that we will all have to consider ways of doing things differently.

Government guidance will continue to change over the coming days and weeks so please make sure you are kept informed and up to date with any new advice or guidance being produced, and adjust your ways of working as appropriate.

As practitioners we need to consider how we can maintain appropriate contact with the children, young people and families we work with, provide support at this difficult time as well as maintain business as usual as much as possible.

Please note that if you have a concern about the safety and welfare of a child or young person you should report your concern to CARELINE on 0151 233 3700.

The safeguarding partners have agreed measures and plans to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading of the virus to children, young people, and their families and within our multi agency workforce.

In relation to multi-agency working;

  • Other than in exceptional circumstances, visits to children and families will be reduced by all partners to a frequency necessary to meet any statutory requirements and to keep children safe. Where this is felt to compromise safety, decisions will be made by Children’s Social Care managers who will liaise with partners on a case by case basis. It is important that we share the responsibility for face to face contact to minimize risk to staff as well as families.

    • All multi agency meetings, including strategy meetings, initial and review child protection conferences, core group and Cared for Child reviews will be arranged as telephone or video conferencing and all partners will be invited to join online. More detailed guidance for families, children and professionals is available below
    • Child safeguarding medical examinations will continue as normal, as per existing multiagency arrangements. The normal pathway for referrals to continue. The receiving clinician will then complete a Covid-19 screening tool and advise accordingly on how the medical will be conducted.
  • LSCP online procedures will continue to be available to practitioners to consult via the LSCP website .This includes procedures for offering Early Help and support.

  • Multi agency training planned for the foreseeable future is cancelled however there is a range of free e-learning modules available HERE.

 

If you experience any difficulties with these arrangements please discuss with your manager and follow the escalation procedures

 

Multi Agency Meetings including Child Protection Conferences and Child Looked After Reviews:

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Unit will temporarily change the way meetings are facilitated to ensure the protection of health of both professionals and families alike.

It is important that we continue to maintain a service to safeguard and plan for our most vulnerable children and young people. An invitation will therefore be sent to partners to attend virtual meetings and to continue to contribute with reports, information and direct participation on line where possible. Parents and children will be encouraged where appropriate to participate by phone or on line where they are able. Conference decisions and plans will be made with what information is available.

Child Protection Processes & Looked After Children Reviews

Information for all professionals working with children, young people and their families

Please follow your own agency's contingency plans for providing services to children, young people and families, however in what may be challenging circumstances we would remind practitioners to:

  • Speak to families regarding any difficulties they may be experiencing due to spending more time together than usual, and signpost to where they can receive additional support.
  • Remain vigilant for the signs and indicators of abuse, including neglect and domestic violence, and raise any safeguarding concerns in line with your agency's procedures.
  • If you are using alternative methods such as social media and technology to keep in contact with children, young people and families, remember to do this in line with your agency’s policies and in a safe and appropriate manner.
  • Review your agency safeguarding policies and ensure that they reflect the current situation in relation to the Covid 19 pandemic. This could include adding a coronavirus addendum or annexe to existing policies and procedures. Information regarding what to consider is available from the NSPCC - Updating your safeguarding policy.
  • Continue to consider help and support through the Early Help approach.

 

Domestic abuse

The COVID-19 outbreak brings new challenges for people who are living through domestic abuse. Victims and survivors who are self-isolating may not be able to access support or escape abuse. Self-isolating while living with an abuser may increase the risk of harm.

Support and advice is available from the following:

Liverpool Support Services for Domestic Abuse

Merseyside Police Advice

Livewell Directory - LDAS

Worst Kept Secret

 

Keeping Children Safe Online

Government Advice and Guidance to help parents and carers keep children safe online during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

NSPCC - Keeping Children Safe Online

Online Safety during the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

Additional E-Learning Resources for Professionals

 

Talking to Children about Coronavirus

There have been big changes in our lives because of coronavirus, so the Children’s Commissioner have created a children’s guide to coronavirus to help explain the situation. The guide aims to answer your child’s questions about coronavirus, tell you how to stay safe and protect other people and how to help you make the best of your time at home.

Other useful resources for talking to children:

NSPCC Resources Children, Mental Health and Coronavirus

Young Minds - Supporting your child during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Child Bereavement UK - Supporting Children through Difficult Times

Mental Health UK - Talking to children about coronavirus

Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

 

Further Information on Covid-19

CLICK HERE Latest Advice Children's Services, Education and Schools

CLICK HERE Latest Health Advice Coronavirus

 

Other information

Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update is guidance and information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills providers.

 

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