Covid-19: Supporting Education and Safeguarding Children

By March 26, 2020 May 4th, 2020 Working in Partnership

As we face the challenges of this unprecedented time, it is important we continue to provide our support to education partners and service providers – working together to support families and safeguard children….

Concerns for the welfare of children whilst not in school during the Covid-19 pandemic have already been highlighted by government officials, schools and numerous other child centered organisations, services and charities; in particular a child’s access to food in the absence of receiving a school meal.

Whilst this is hugely worrying, concerns have also been raised to increased risk of harm to children in other situations they may be subject to whilst not in school and in lock down:

  • Domestic Abuse (increased exposure during isolation)
  • Neglect and Abuse (new + where it already exists)
  • Criminal/Sexual Exploitation (+ online)
  • Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour (involved/victim of)
  • Online bullying, grooming/radicalisation and cyber risks (increased screen time)

It is also recognised that social distancing and disconnection resulting from lock-down and isolation may have a significant affect on young people’s mental health and well-being, and/or that of other family members, which could also impact on them.

Here we bring together a host of information, advice and resources from credible experts and organisations to support professionals, families and children through this challenging time; this includes resources to support teachers with remote-teaching, professional development and personal well-being.

The information is set out in sections, with general information below in this column, and information for teachers/partners, parents/carers and young people in the opposite column.

Please share with colleagues and professional networks – we kindly ask you to share all relevant information with parent and pupil/youth networks as a way of staying engaged, connected and supporting them during this challenging time.

Concerns for the Safety & Welfare of a Child

Disruptions to services during the Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly affect managing and prioritising safeguarding reports and responses – however, we must continue to protect children through our local children’s services referral and reporting processes provided in the links below.

If you know a child to be immediate risk of danger call 999 

Sharing non-urgent information with Police – CPI Form (professionals only)

Using the Community Partnership Information Sharing Form (CPI), professional partners can share non-urgent information with police 24/7, providing information known to them which relates to a variety of crime types.

More information and access to the form can be found on the dedicated Safe4me Information Sharing page via the link button below.

COVID-19: guidance on vulnerable children and young people

Information produced by the government providing guidance specific to:

  • Children supported by the children’s social care system
  • Children with education health and care (EHC) plans
  • Children in alternative provision (AP) settings

Domestic Abuse Support through Covid-19

COVID-19 will have a significant impact on the lives of women, children and men who are experiencing domestic abuse. The increase in pressures over jobs, finances, school closures, home-working and schooling are expected to increase domestic abuse incidents during these times of isolation.

Below is a collection of support advice sheets produced by Hampshire Constabulary for victims,  with one for perpetrators from The Hampton Trust. We kindly ask that you share and display where possible to support families facing increased risk of DA at this time.

Support advice poster for victims (4 options): A5 & A4 B&W + A5 & A4 Colour; and one colour flyer for perpetrators.

Covid-19 DA Perpetrator FlyerCovid-19 DA Perpetrator Flyer

Mental Health Support during Covid-19

Lock-down and disruption to lives is likely to impact somewhat on children and young people’s mental health, and that of adults.

‘All Our Health’ is a resource produced by the Government for health professionals to assist with preventing ill health and promote wellbeing as part of their everyday practice with patients, families and communities to manage and improve overall mental health and wellbeing. Click here to access the dedicated webpage which includes a mental health and wellbeing e-learning resource.

CAMHS have a dedicated webpage providing support during Covid-19 with a host of information, videos and links to other organisations.

Hampshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership have produced a ‘Managing Self-Harm’ resource for education staff and parents to support children and young people during Covid-19.

The Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families have produced information and videos giving clear and simple advice for young people, parents and professionals.

Links to all the above are located in the buttons below.

Links to other support and services for young people are located in the young people’s section of this page.

Please share this information with your relevant networks to help us do all we can to prevent or minimise the affects on mental health.

Anna Freud Centre

Free Online Course from Virtual College : An Introduction to Infection Prevention and Control

This free 30 minute online course comes with printable certificate, requires email to access.

  • How you can contribute to infection prevention and control in the workplace
  • Demonstrate standard infection prevention precautions
  • Understand your responsibility to prevent passing on infections in the workplace

Free printable posters and advice sheets aalso available to download

Virtual College Online Course

Covid-19 Advice in 34 Languages

Doctors of the World, in partnership with the British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice, have produced Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice in 34 languages based on the government’s updated advice and health information.

Covid-19 advice in 34 Languages

Covid-19 Fraud & Scam Prevention Advice

Criminals are exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic, setting out to capitalise on it by scamming the public – the National Crime Agency, National Economic Crime Centre and City of London Police have produced advice urging the public to be extra vigilant about such fraud, particularly about sharing financial and personal information.

Listed here are some of the most commonly known email, text and phone scams, along with doorstep crimes to be aware of:

  • Unexpected email from the government offering you money.
  • ‘Infection List Scam’ posing as World Health Organisation (WHO) claiming to provide a list/map of local infections.
  • Email from HM Government asking for donations for the NHS.
  • HMRC email stating ‘eligible to receive a tax refund’.
  • Sale of fake COVID-19 swabbing tests, supplements, and anti-virus kits.
  • Text message asking you to pay a fine for being ‘recorded as leaving your home on three occasions’ during the lockdown.
  • Phone call stating ‘government now require everyone to wear masks outdoors, press 1 to purchase your mask’.

Doorstep Crime

  • Cleaning services offering to clean drives/doorways to kill bacteria or ‘decontaminate’ inside homes.
  • Bogus healthcare workers offering to take temperatures or provide ‘home-testing’ for the virus.
  • Criminals offering to do shopping, taking the money and not returning.

Always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting any personal or financial information (name, address, bank details).

Advice & Reporting

For advice on cybercrime, or to report suspicious emails, visit www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware  or anyone who has been a victim of fraud or cybercrime can report it either online: www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040

Please share with your colleague, parent & youth networks where possible to raise awareness .

Covid-19 Fraud Advice

Most Recent Updates…….

Stay at Home Hero Poster for Children

Our ‘Stay at Home Hero’ certificate has been produced to help police engage children, particularly when attending domestic or other incidents where children are at risk or are witnesses, using it as a means to break down any barriers to conversations.

Recognising that children may like a reward certificate in recognition of them staying at home to keep themselves, others and the NHS safe, we are delighted to share these for more general use and welcome you to share with children, or use in the work you do. Two versions are available to download and print.

Online Radicalisation Advice for Parents and Carers

Isolation during Covid-19 and the increased amount of time online, children may engage with new groups or individuals which could make them more vulnerable to those people looking to influence young people.

Recognising this risk and the complexity of it, advice has been produced by national organisations including NSPCC, CEOP, Internet Matters and Counter Terrorism Police to support parents and carers with better understanding this risk and signs to look out for.

Please share this guidance with your parent networks to help raise awareness of the increased risk of online radicalisation to children and young people during Covid-19. Please also remember to signpost parents and carers to our Safe4me parent page for general advice and information on a range of topics including radicalisation: https://www.safe4me.co.uk/parents/

Local Police & Community Poem Short Film

Local police, public service partners, members of the community and young people came together to deliver an uplifting message about keeping safe and well during Covid-19.

Please share through your social media channels as a community spirited way of championing frontline services and sharing safety messages: Police & Community Social Sense Covid19 Film

Portsmouth Police Facebook link: click here

Support for Teaching Staff and Partners

With a vast amount of advice and support currently being produced for professionals, supporting with the Covid-19 pandemic and with wider education and safeguarding needs – here we signpost to credible organisations and companies providing expert information and advice to teachers and other professionals working with children and families.

We recommend exploring offers to sign-up for regular weekly updates, particularly from the NSPCC, Andrew Hall Safeguarding and Ineqe, to keep you up to date, supported and informed during this time.

ParentZone: offering 3-month FREE membership to their Digital Resilience Programme Membership which offers resources for parents, plus support and training for your team, including exclusive suite of online training courses and the NEW Parent Lounge: staff can use for professional development and share with parents/carers to stay engaged and connected, supporting them through school-closure. https://parentzone.org.uk/membership/digital-resilience-membership

Safe4me Toolkits: To support educating children and young people remotely, consider activities and resources in our toolkits on law and safety topics such as Law & Rights, County Lines, Knife Crime, Sending Nudes Online, Antisocial Behaviour and the ‘Just for Fun’ activity book for younger children.

Colour & Display: As a creative way of reminding and reassuring children that the police are there to help them and keep their community safe, we are encouraging children to colour-in or decorate our posters of Bobby Panda, Ni-nah the Police Van or our Police Officers, displaying their artistic work in windows for local officers to see. Access posters by clicking on the name-link.

NSPCC ‘Undertaking Remote Teaching Safely’: an article produced by the NSPCC located the link buttons below. Option to sign up for the Caspar Weekly Newsletter regarding practice, policy and research information specific to child protection and safeguarding: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/newsletter/caspar/

Cambridge Assessment International Education: Provide free resources to help deliver effective teaching and learning outside the classroom, including resources and study tips for learners, as well as guidance to help parents support their children to learn at home.

Ineqe Safeguarding Group: Through its Home Learning, Teach and Safeguarding hubs, Ineqe provide a library of free education and safeguarding resources for professionals including useful webinars, articles and resources for both primary and secondary age, including a useful video explaining Coronavirus for SEN in IMAGES & MAKATON.

Andrew Hall Safeguarding in Schools: Although mainly a subscription service, Andrew offers free access to a wide range of resources and articles, including the option to sign-up for his free weekly safeguarding briefing and twice-monthly safeguarding video briefing ‘Safeguarding Extra’ which recently covered County Lines – drug related organised crime linked to child criminal exploitation and gangs.

Education Support Service provides free support for the well-being of teachers, currently offering dedicated Coronavirus support. https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/

Helpline: 08000 562 561 (24hr in confidence)

Support for Young People

Advice here includes a very useful Covid-19 support leaflet from the National Youth Work Organisation (NYWO) titled ‘ Keep Calm, Stay Connected, Be Safe’, addressing a range of significant issues faced by young people during the pandemic. Click the title to access.

It is important we keep engaged with young people, reminding them where to get help and support if needed and how to report crime, signposting them to the specialist services and online support below:

  • Childline: service for children worried about abuse and harm
  • Fearless: service for 11-17 years to report crime anonymously.
  • YoungMinds: ‘Crisis Messenger’ free 24/7 text service – text YM to 85258
  • The Mix: counselling service for short-term help with MH and emotional wellbeing. Phone and text service for U25s, web-chat for 10-18 yrs – group chat/discussion options.
  • Ditch the Label: bullying support service for young people 12-25 to help with body image, coming out, building self- confidence/esteem.
  • Police Instagram: we recommend young people (13+) follow the national police team on Instagram to receive regular posts, information and videos on a range of safety topics (Covid-19 info/video added), function to direct message police for questions and reply.

Children should also be advised they can contact Hampshire Police: call 101 for non-emergency or report online – call 999 in an emergency.

Please share with your pupil/youth networks – staying engaged and connected, supporting them with safety, MH and well-being.

Support for Parents & Carers

The links provided here aim to support families with managing isolation, well-being, home-education and behaviour – they include a colourful activity worksheet for younger children which explores a virus and their feelings, and new 15 minute online safety activity packs from ThinkUknow.

Family Lives: Advice for families in self isolation: coping practically and emotionally during the Covid-19 outbreak, including family tensions, managing children’s behaviour and ideas for family activities.

Parent Info: formed by Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP, providing support and guidance for parents on a whole range of topics which currently include articles advising parents about:

  • Looking after their family’s mental health when stuck indoors
  • Managing children’s screen time
  • Coping with their child being bullied online
  • Tips for starting the difficult Coronavirus conversation with children
  • Free subscription offer

Parent Zone: experts in digital family life, providing support and information to parents, children and schools to help families navigate the internet safely and confidently. Parent section consists of advice and articles on a range on online safety topics – one which may be of particular value at the moment is’ Helping Teens Cope with Lockdown

Currently providing 3 month FREE membership to their Digital Resilience Programme, giving parents unlimited access to the Parent Lounge. https://parentzone.org.uk/membership/digital-resilience-membership

CEOP-ThinkUknow: an education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation to protect children online and offline. Provides individual websites specifically for children, parents and professionals with advice and activities about staying safe online. The parent section has added new activity packs with 15 minute activities to do with your child to support home-learning about keeping safe online when spending more time online whilst isolated and not in school. https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/