Safeguarding Children During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
There is a great deal of information available in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak already and the impact it has had 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 whilst the outbreak is ongoing and the measures remain in place from the UK Government.
Given how quickly the situation is progressing 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
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
Unfortunately, in light of recent Government advice to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, face-to-face meetings cannot be held until further notice. These 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
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.
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 schools,colleges and other 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 click here.
3. Addendum to Sample School Child Protection Policy 2019-20: COVID-19 school closure arrangements for Safeguarding & Child Protection
From 20th March 2020 parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response – who absolutely need to attend.
Schools and all childcare providers were asked to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
This addendum of the school name Child Protection policy contains details of individual safeguarding arrangements. This addendum should be used in conjunction with the overarching Sample School Child Protection Policy 2019-20.
To download a copy of the addendum, please click on the image below:
Addendum to Sample School Child Protection Policy 2019-20
4. Schools who remain open during the Easter Holidays to house students who are unable to return home
Any school in North Yorkshire who is planning on housing students in the Easter 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.
Quick Links to Useful Documents
Throughout this period quick access to documents in relation to the coronavirus outbreak will be listed below to download:
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: