Covid-19: Supporting Education and Safeguarding Children

By March 26, 2020 April 8th, 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 (predicted increase and exposure during isolation)
  • Neglect and Abuse (increase where it already exists)
  • Criminal/Sexual Exploitation (including online)
  • Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour (involved/victim of)
  • Online bullying, grooming and cyber risks (increase in screen time)

It is also recognised that social distancing/disconnection and lock-down isolation could 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 variety of credible experts and organisations offering useful information, resources and advice to support professionals, families and children, particularly 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 and connected with them, giving support during this challenging time.

Concerns for the Safety and 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 (professionals only)

Using the Community Partnership Information Sharing Form, 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, access to the form and details for MASH teams can be found on the dedicated Safe4me Information Sharing page accessible via the link button below.

Coronavirus (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 the Covid-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 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 are a range of support advice sheets produced by Hampshire Constabulary for victims, and with The Hampton Trust for perpetrators, which we kindly urge you to 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; one colour flyer for perpetrators to call 02380 009898 for help.

Covid-19 DA Perpetrator Flyer

Supporting Mental Health during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Facing lock-down and disruption to lives, the Coronavirus situation is likely to impact somewhat on children and young people’s mental health, and that of adults. The Government have produced ‘All Our Health’, a resource which helps health professionals prevent ill health and promote wellbeing as part of their everyday practice with patients, families and communities to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The dedicated information webpage provides a mental health and wellbeing e-learning session – click here to access the webpage

CAMHS Hampshire have a dedicated page providing support during the Coronavirus pandemic with a host of information, videos and links to other organisations.

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

Young people: Links to other National MH support services for young people are located in the young people’s section of this page.

Please share this information with your relevant networks to  ensure we are doing all we can to prevent or minimise affects on mental health.

CAMHS Advice
Anna Freud Centre MH Advice

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

This 30 minute online course is free with a printable certificate option, requires email address 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 are also available to download

Virtual College Online Course

Covid-19 Advice in 34 Languages

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

Covid-19 advice in 34 Languages

Covid-19 Fraud & Scam Prevention Advice

Criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam the public – the National Crime Agency, National Economic Crime Centre and City of London Police have produced advice to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the pandemic.

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

Covid-19 Fraud Advice

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.orgttons

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:

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.

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.

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.