Safeguarding Children During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted on every part of our daily life, not least frontline services such as health, social care, police, and education.
We have put a dedicated page together with our partners from across the county in the hope that it provides a single point of access for anybody who is needing to seek information and resources in relation to safeguarding children and young people throughout the pandemic.
The information detailed on this page is subject to constant review and change. If you would like to share any resources or information that is not covered in the detail below please email: email@example.com
Addendum to School Child Protection Policy
From 4th January 2021 the government announced a national lockdown, schools and colleges should allow only vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend these settings. All other pupils and students should not attend and should learn remotely until February half term.
Alternative provision (AP) and special schools will remain open and continue to offer face to face provision for all pupils where appropriate.
Early year’s provision should continue to remain open and should continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetable hours. This includes early years registered nurseries and childminders, maintained nursery schools, as well as nursery classes in schools and other pre-reception provision on school sites. Only vulnerable children and children of critical workers should attend on-site reception classes.
This addendum of the template Child Protection Policy for schools is provide schools with a model policy for adoption locally.
The Department for Education has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education and social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows between 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday and Sunday):
Phone: 0800 046 8687
North Yorkshire Local Authority – general queries
Parents/Carers – please contact your educational provider. If your query is in regard to critical worker provision please email us at CYPS.COVID19@northyorks.gov.uk, including details of your contact details, educational setting, days required and or any issues you with to raise.
Early Years providers – please go to the cypsinfo Covid-19 site for further queries beyond this please contact us via email.
Schools – please read the information at the links below and visit cypsinfo Covid-19 site. For further queries beyond this please contact us via CYPS.COVID19@northyorks.gov.uk or through your Senior Education Adviser.
This email address will be monitored on weekends. Please note that as office cover has been reduced to a minimum, you should send your query by email to the above address. A response will be sent as soon as possible as the inbox is regularly monitored.
Temporary Changes to NYSCP
This section will list any temporary changes to multi-agency safeguarding procedure and guidance throughout the Coronavirus outbreak. Unless stated otherwise, all other NYSCP multi-agency procedures and practice guidance remain in place for services to follow.
Click on the drop down menu below to view any current multi-agency procedure and guidance change:
1. Participation in Child Protection Conferences: (Updated 01.04.20) Families and Professionals
In light of recent Government advice to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, face-to-face meetings will be reduced until further notice and subject to ongoing review. These may include Child Protection Conferences, and Looked After Reviews.
These meetings are important and they still need to go ahead. Involved Professionals will be contacted prior to the meeting and asked to share any relevant information they hold and plan to share at the meeting with you prior to the actual meeting. The Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) who will be chairing the meeting, or your child’s Social Worker, will contact you prior to the meeting taking place to discuss arrangements and how we can ensure you are as fully involved as possible in the meeting and contribute to plans to make your child safe. At the conclusion of the meeting, the IRO or your child’s Social Worker will contact you to talk through the outcome of the meeting and plans to support your family.
We will do our utmost to ensure that you are actively involved and that your views are known and considered. There are a number of different ways that your involvement or contribution can be arranged and we (IRO or child’s Social Worker) will agree this with you in advance. Examples of this include your involvement in the meeting by telephone, contact with you prior to the meeting (by the IRO or child’s Social Worker) to discuss the circumstances with you and ensure that your views can be shared at the meeting or alternatively, the Chair (IRO) of the meeting will contact you and others invited to the meeting individually to discuss the situation with regard to your child and to ask for views with regard to the plan to support your child.
Irrespective of how the meeting takes place, following the meeting the Chair (IRO) of the meeting will contact you to let you know the outcome. This will include whether or not your child should have a plan to coordinate support to them and their family to help to keep them safe.
A copy of the plan will be sent to you and to others involved in the meeting as soon as possible.
All those participating in Child Protection Conferences by telephone should be aware that the information which will be discussed will be highly confidential and, for some families, very sensitive and private. So please ensure that the only people in the room with you, if any, are those who are entitled to be party to this information, the IRO or your child’s Social Worker will discuss this in more detail with you. These discussions often also deal with adult themes and so children or young people should not be present unless previously agreed with the Chair (IRO) in advance of the meeting.
In some circumstances the Social Worker may explore with you the possibility of making an individual arrangement to ensure that information is not discussed if circumstances in the room, from where you are telephoning, change unexpectedly.
Do please let the Social Worker or the Independent Reviewing Officer (Chair of the meeting) know if you or a member of your household have particular needs or circumstances that should be taken in to account when arranging the meeting.
If you have any queries, please contact the IRO Chair on their mobile telephone number or email our Safeguarding Business Support staff via email, details on the letter that you have or will receive regarding your invitation to participate in the meeting.
If you have participated in a meeting held under these temporary arrangements and you would like to let us know about your experience do please email Dave Taylor, IRO Manager at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other NYSCP guidance please see:
- NYSCP Worried About a Child Page
- NYSCP Procedure page
- NYSCP Practice Guidance page
- NYSCP One Minute Guide page
Guidance for Test and Trace Process
Following consultation with partners the way in which information about suspected or positive cases of Covid 19 in settings is collected has changed. The Local Authority has introduced a single route for all settings to notify suspected or positive cases and to request advice and support. Please see the document and flow chart which has new numbers and links and please discard earlier versions. There is a separate version for early years providers .
Clear guide for parents, school and setting staff has also been produced which is hope you will distribute. The Reference Guide for Parents and School/Setting Staff is available here.
Information & Advice during the Coronavirus Outbreak
For general information during the Coronavirus outbreak please refer to the UK Government advice and for specific service roles please refer to the appropriate section listed below under the drop down menu:
For the latest county wide information and advice on the Coronavirus outbreak please visit NYCC dedicated Coronavirus page.
For the latest information and advice from a policing perspective on the Coronavirus outbreak please visit North Yorkshire Police’s website.
“Let’s Talk About It”: Prevent online radicalisation during Covid-19 lockdown
North Yorkshire Police are supporting a campaign to tackle the threat of online radicalisation during the coronavirus emergency.
Co-ordinated by Prevent and with a focus on its “Let’s Talk About It” website https://www.ltai.info/, it is aimed at young and vulnerable people who could be at risk of being groomed by extremist individuals and groups online.
If you have an immediate concern that you need to share with a trained professional who will treat your enquiry with understanding and discretion, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101.
If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT. Report it in confidence at www.gov.uk/ACT. Your actions could save lives.
Information and advice for Health Clinicians and NHS managers during the Coronavirus outbreak is provided by NHS England. Advice for primary care, secondary care, and community, social care and ambulance services can be found on NHS England’s dedicated Coronavirus page.
If you are a member of the public looking for health advice, visit the NHS website.
1. General Information & Advice
If you’re a school or educational setting in North Yorkshire & need information regarding Coronavirus, please see the dedicated advice page from North Yorkshire County Council’s Children, Young People & Families directorate, here.
2. Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in early years providers, schools and further education providers
The DfE has released guidance for schools and colleges to support them keeping children safe, including online, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
To access the guidance for schools click here.
To access the guidance for further education establishments click here.
3. Schools who remain open during holidays to house students who are unable to return home
Any school in North Yorkshire who is planning on housing students in holidays due to the outbreak, must liaise with NYCC Children & Families Service. Pupils at school under 16 who live at the school for more than two weeks during the school holiday fall within the definition of Private Fostering. These requirements are set out here within the Children Act 1989. NYCC would expect to receive a Private Fostering notification and this can be made via the normal process as laid out on the NYSCP Private Fostering page.
However, where there are exceptional circumstances, it is within local authorities’ power to use an exemption for the requirement to notify a child is being privately fostered for a special period should the local authority be satisfied there are no safeguarding / well-being concerns and are confident of the school’s safeguarding policies and arrangements.
If you feel there are exceptional circumstances over this period, then please make contact for an initial discussion on 01609 535123. In preparation for the Easter holidays please ensure any appropriate Private Fostering notifications or if you feel the circumstances should require an exemption are made at the earliest opportunity before the Easter holidays.
After discussion with yourself, it will then be the decision of NYCC as to whether to provide an exemption for a school to not be required to notify NYCC of each child they are privately fostering during this period or to follow the normal process.
If you have a child in your setting who is currently Looked After or subject to child protection, child in need or early help plans, please inform the child’s social worker or early help lead professional should the setting close.
Staff should continue to have an oversight of children’s wellbeing and development through regular telephone contact and report any concerns to the partnership worker. Ensure all contacts made and failed contacts are recorded including dates, times and any action taken.
If you’re in need of information regarding Coronavirus, please see the dedicated advice page from North Yorkshire County Council’s Children, Young People & Families directorate, here.
To access the government guidance for early years providers click here
North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership are asking members of the everyone who works with professionals, members of families, friends and the general public to remember safeguarding is everyone’s business and to report any safeguarding concerns they have about children and young people.
Lockdown resulted in thousands of people remaining in their homes around the clock – but this doesn’t mean they are out of harm’s way. The Covid-19 pandemic and measures to address the outbreak places increased importance on everyone to ensure that they are alert to safeguarding risks and take appropriate action by reporting any concerns they may have.
For more information about Hidden Harm please see the Hidden Harm Campaign page by clicking here.
Going Home Checklist
Just as you prepare to mentally start work, do the same at the end of your working day by completing the going home checklist to ensure work stays at work.
Quick Links to Useful Documents
Throughout this period quick access to documents in relation to the coronavirus outbreak will be listed below to download:
Support for children & families who have a close family member receiving hospital care or have been incapacitated due to Coronavirus
In North Yorkshire we recognise the need for services who work with children, young people, and families to offer support to children and parents who have a close family member (parent, brother, sister, child) receiving hospital care for Coronavirus.
We have produced a guide which gives information on how children and families can access additional support in these circumstances from services should this be needed.
To view the guide please click below:
Temporary Changes to Organisations who work with Children, Young People & Families
For a list of services who have made temporary changes to their service delivery during the Coronavirus outbreak, please click below:
Resources to help Children & Families during the Coronavirus Outbreak
For a list of resources from services nationally and locally to help children and families during the Coronavirus outbreak, please click below: