Information for practitioners

The LSCP recognise that the COVID-19 virus is putting increasing pressure on all services providing support to children, young people and families. In this changing landscape safeguarding continues to be a priority, however we recognise that we will all have to consider ways of doing things differently.

Government guidance may change over the coming days and weeks so please make sure you are kept informed and up to date with any new advice or guidance being produced, and adjust your ways of working as appropriate. We will update this page as more information is made available.

As practitioners we need to consider how we can maintain appropriate contact with the children, young people and families we work with, provide support at this difficult time as well as maintain business as usual as much as possible.

Please follow your own agency's contingency plans for providing services to children, young people and families, however in what may be challenging circumstances we would remind practitioners to:

  • Speak to families regarding any difficulties they may be experiencing due to spending more time together than usual, and signpost to where they can receive additional support.

  • Remain vigilant for the signs and indicators of abuse, including neglect and domestic violence, and raise any safeguarding concerns in line with your agency's procedures. Emeritus Professor Jan Horwath has put together advice for practitioners around the current situation and working with child neglect during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • If you suspect that a child or young person is being, or is at risk of being significantly harmed as a result of abuse or neglect, you must report this immediately in line with your agency's procedures. See the latest information on what to do if you're Concerned About a Child.

  • Remember to Think Family, Work Family – people rarely live in complete isolation and therefore we need to understand the needs of the wider family when we are working with a child, parent or adult, talking more, continuing to effectively work together and making sure that all the people working with children, young people and adults in a family, plan and coordinate their work.

  • If you are using alternative methods such as social media and technology to keep in contact with children, young people and families, remember to do this in line with your agency’s policies and in a safe and appropriate manner.

  • Review your safeguarding policies and ensure that they reflect the current situation in relation to the Covid 19 pandemic. This could include adding a coronavirus addendum or annexe to existing policies and procedures. Information regarding what to consider is available from the NSPCC.

  • Consider help and support through the Early Help approach. Practitioners can contact the Early Help Hub Managers for advice and support:

During this current time, in order to adhere to Government guidance, the LSCP are not in a position to provide face to face learning and development sessions. Therefore to support practitioners with their learning a Virtual Learning and Development offer has been developed including online training and links to other learning resources.