Covid-19 and safeguarding children
Cheshire East Safeguarding Children’s Partnership is clear that during the Covid-19 situation that safeguarding children remains a priority for all partners
In light of the current situation as a result of Coronavirus, 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.
Following these discussions the safeguarding partners would like to update you all with an outline of the measures in place to achieve this. In doing so, we appreciate that individual agencies will be following their own arrangements and would not wish in any way to discourage partners following the advice of their own organisation.
In relation to multi-agency working;
- Other than in exceptional circumstances, visits to children and families will be reduced 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 the Children’s Social Care management 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 conferencing and all partners invited to join one line. More detailed guidance for families, children and professionals is available below.
- Child safeguarding medical examinations would continue as normal, as per existing multiagency arrangements. The normal pathway for referrals to continue but the clinician at the receiving end would advise who needs to be contacted and how, as this could change on a day to day basis.
- The partnerships website and online procedures will continue to be available to practitioners to consult.
- Multi agency training planned for the foreseeable future is cancelled.
If you experience any difficulties with these arrangements please discuss with your manager and follow the escalation procedures
Child Protection Conferences and Cared for reviews
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, how the Cheshire East Council Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Unit facilitate the following meetings will change temporarily to ensure we are protecting the health of you and others as well as ensuring we look after the safety of your children.
During these challenging times, Children’s Social Care would ask that Professionals attending virtual meetings such as Child in Need Meetings, Strategy Meetings, Core Groups and Care Planning meetings, use the Professionals Feedback - Signs of Safety (MS Word 60KB) document to bullet point the information they will be sharing verbally. This is not as an alternative to attending the conference call/virtual meeting, more to assist the minute taker in the task of chairing the meeting and accurately recording information.
We have used the SOS 3 columns approach as this is familiar to you all.
You would then be expected to email this to the Chair of the meetings which would either be the allocated Social Worker or their Team Manager.
Child Protection conferences
Children's Cared For Reviews
Covid-19: For health information and advice, read the NHS pages on coronavirus
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.
Coronavirus in 20 languages
Cheshire East Council has Covid-19 information – which includes information and updates on changes to council services as a result of the pandemic.
Check the CESCP etraining resource regularly for new material.
Covid-19 Help for people who harm
We are aware that some of our service users are currently at risk of Domestic Abuse. We have always offered to work with perpetrators. This is a focus on offering support in a different way to them whilst we are unable to operate as we normally would. As part of our response to support behaviour management and change, the help and support available and some self-help tools have been developed to provide a virtual response whilst we are unable to respond directly. Please feel free to share and use appropriately.
Homelessness or at risk of homelessness
See guidance if you are homeless or at risk of homelessness (PDF, 82KB)
Coronavirus: Guidance on supporting families struggling to pay for their gas, electricity or water supplies (PDF, 309KB
Helpful aids to talk with children about Coronavirus
This short guide is aimed at supporting a conversation with a child/young person in school to ascertain information about their current home circumstance, This information is then to be emailed to the relevant Lead Professional/Social Worker.
Guide for Professionals in speaking with children and young people (PDF, 309KB)
Helping people experiencing domestic abuse at this time
Covid-19: You are not alone. Continued support for anyone affected by domestic abuse.
The referral toolkit (MS Word, 236KB) contains the tools and resources needed by professionals to understand the level of risk and needs of individuals and families affected by domestic abuse and to make a ‘whole family’ referral where possible.
Pregnancy and Coronavirus
This animation sets out what pregnant women should expect from NHS maternity services during the coronavirus. Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer, and Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity for the NHS in England explain what might change and why it’s important to keep in touch with your maternity team.