The current coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on everyone in our society, with the most vulnerable being exposed to even more risk. Vulnerable children and young people may be hidden from support services, and need important early support before they are in crisis.
If you know of a child or young person who is struggling and needs additional help or support you can now refer them to a single response centre for England: the See, Hear, Respond partnership.
With the help of a £7 million package of support from the Department for Education, Barnardo’s is bringing together a coalition of national and local charities to identify and support those children and young people who are experiencing harm and increased adversity during lockdown, who are not being seen by schools or other key agencies. In Walsall, Barnardo’s is working together with Walsall Council Children’s Services and other local providers to provide solutions to the challenges facing children and families that may have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Through the telephone referral service, See, Hear, Respond will contact every referral and find a local partner agency that is best-placed to provide on the ground support to help some of the most isolated and at-risk children.
Support can be in one of four ways:
Councillor Tim Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said, “We welcome the See, Hear, Respond national partnership to add value to our local Early Help offer in identifying and supporting vulnerable children across the borough who may be at greater health, emotional or physical risk during COVID-19 without usual access to schools and other support services.
"It is vital during this pandemic that vulnerable or isolated children don’t miss out on the help they need. People in Walsall who know of a child or young person in need of help and support are encouraged to contact Barnardo’s who will work directly with Children’s Services and local providers to reach out and ensure these children have the necessary connections to support, be these online or face to face.”
The See, Hear, Respond programme focuses on finding and reaching out to children who are experiencing negative impacts on their health and wellbeing, as well as those at risk of harm. As we all continue to navigate the coronavirus and its aftermath, See, Hear, Respond aims to ensure that those children who are most at risk have access to a lifeline and do not fall through the cracks.
For more information or to make a referral, please visit the Barnardo’s See, Hear, Respond website. A helpline is also available for parents, carers and children wishing to make a referral, please call 0800 157 7015.
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 to Walsall Council Children’s Services: