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Please use the yellow drop down menu to view information to help you during this difficult time
Key information can also be found in our Newsletters & Key Messages:
Spring 2020 Edition 2
Key Safeguarding Messages
w/c 18 Jan
w/c 4 Jan
w/c 14 Dec
w/c 30 Nov
w/c 16 Nov
w/c 26 Oct
w/c 12 Oct
w/c 21 Sept
w/c 7 Sept
w/c 24 Aug
w/c 27 July
Walsall Safeguarding Partnership hope that you are well. As a reminder, we would like to reiterate the Government and NHS guidelines about maintaining good hygiene: only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work, and stay two metres away from other people outside of your household.
This is particularly important for people who are aged over 70 and/or have an underlying health condition.
Walsall Safeguarding Partnership have produced this leaflet for you to help if you are self-isolating
Deaf and Care Support Services will be providing services for any Walsall resident who is deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind. Details of this information can be found here
Please remember that Safeguarding is everyone's business. Further information on your role can be found here
The Government have provided a Safeguarding Factsheet for Community volunteers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Walsall’s communities, and the voluntary, community and faith organisations which work alongside them are already playing a significant role in the response to the coronavirus outbreak and supporting those most vulnerable to the impact. We are blessed with active communities and strong community organisations already working hard to ensure support is available to those who need it.
One Walsall is working alongside Walsall Council to support and coordinate the community response, and to provide guidance and advice to local community action.
The Council’s approach is to develop a coronavirus response hub in each locality, building on the work of the existing ‘Making Connections’ programme Hubs. Four locality hubs have now been set up to help vulnerable residents in the Walsall borough, with 300 volunteers already coming forward. More information will be shared over the coming days, but please see the attached flyer to learn more.
If you want to become a volunteer please view the Making Connections Walsall leaflet and go directly to the website of One Walsall here
Cyber criminals are preying on fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and sending scam emails that try and trick people into clicking on a bad link.
Some guidance to help you identify the scam emails can be found here
Friends Against Scams have published the following information about on keeping safe from scams.
Here are just some of the scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:
Tips to avoid being scammed:
To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk and complete the free online training.
Friends Against Scams have also published this helpful leaflet
Please find details on how to stay safe in light of the new Test & Trace scheme
Covid-19 Walsall Council have developed an e-form for Residents of Walsall who are concerned about businesses and other venues being non-compliant with COVID-19 regulations. Residents can choose to remain anonymous if they wish but if contact details are given they will be treated in strict confidence.
The following organisations are providing support and help for victims and survivors of domestic abuse:
SafeLives have put together some information and resources for people living with domestic abuse, and the professionals supporting them during this difficult time. The Staying safe during COVID-19: A guide for victims and survivors of domestic abuse leaflet provides guidance around general points to consider during self-isolation and staying at home, as well as safety planning advice. For more information, please visit SafeLives.org.uk.
National Domestic Violence Helpline: Freephone: 0808 2000 247 https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 8010327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk
Galop: 0800 999 5428 (national helpline for lesbian gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse)
For anyone worried that they may be harming someone else contact RespectUK: 0808 802 4040 https://respect.uk.net/
West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit have produced this briefing paper in response to Covid-19.
The Safeguarding Partnership also offers face to face and E-learning training courses which can be found on our Website
You may also be interesting in listening to one of our Podcasts on the website.
Guidance for safe routine enquiries to support professionals can be viewed within this document
The NSPCC has created a new webpage with information and advice for parents or carers who are worried a child or young person may be struggling with their mental health or has anxiety about Coronavirus. The webpage includes information on: talking about feelings and worries; keeping in touch and balancing screen time; ways to create structure and routine; and helping to give children a sense of control.
Read the information and advice: Talking to a child worried about coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NSPCC has created an online Hub providing advice and support for parents and carers during the Coronavirus outbreak. Content includes: information on keeping children safe from abuse; tips and advice to help parents working from home; and ways to talk to a child who is anxious or worried about Coronavirus.
Visit the Hub: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers
A new support hub and referral link is now available through Bernardo's here which is a new service provided across England for children, young people, parents and carers who are experiencing crisis due to Covid-19.
From the Children’s Commissioner; this is a child friendly guide about coronavirus to help explain the situation. The guide aims to answer children’s questions about coronavirus, tell children how to stay safe and protect other people and how to help them make the best of their time at home.
Read the information and advice: Children's Guide to Coronavirus
It can be challenging to identify a potential victim of modern slavery and potential victims may be reluctant or unable to come forward themselves. That is why it is important for frontline staff to look out for signs of modern slavery.
A potential victim of modern slavery may:
Modern Slavery and Covid-19
COVID-19: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Confirmation that individuals supported through the modern slavery victim care contract will be allowed to stay in government-funded safe accommodation for the next 3 months, as part of measures to protect the vulnerable from coronavirus. News story here Further details here
Home Office resources pack for staff in NGOs and other services who may come across modern slavery cases during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes information on how to refer suspected cases of modern slavery can be found here
If you think that a child or young person is being neglected in any way, please don’t keep it to yourself.
Click here for further information.
If you need help or are worried about a child, contact Walsall Early Help on 0300 555 2866 (Option 1) or visit www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/ types-of-abuse/neglect/ for help, advice and support.
Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to announce the launch of a 24-7 support line for adults, older adults, and children and young people requiring urgent mental health support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Walsall Talking Therapies is available as a support service for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. More information is available here. Referrals can be made by service users themselves or professionals working with them.
If you prefer the anonymity offered by a larger, national charity. The Samaritans can be contacted free 24 hours a day on 116 123.
Samaritans support for NHS Staff & Social Care Workers
The Samaritans have set up a dedicated line in order to offer emotional support to NHS staff and social care workers. Please see here for more information.
The MIND website also has information about coping during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kooth offers mental health advice and support for young people.
See Hear Respond is a new service from Barnardos developed to fill the widening gap for children and young people during COVID-19. From June to 31st October 2020 it will work with schools and other agencies to find those children who are hidden from view; who are not receiving support currently from statutory organisations and those who are at risk and/or experiencing adverse impact to their health and wellbeing. The service is open to any child who does not have other support networks.
Aspire free mental Health Support for 14-25 year olds struggling to cope in life after lockdown. They provide free video therapy sessions to support with loss of routine, increased anxiety or stress at home.
The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) has released a podcast in which Dr Andrew Beck, President Elect of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), talks about the changes he has seen in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and how it is being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Listen to the podcast: Dr. Andrew Beck ‘CAMHS, COVID19, and CBT’
The NSPCC are still here for children, and still here to support you. If you’re worried about a child, or need advice and support, talk to the helpline guidance on 0808 800 5000 (8am-10pm Mon-Fri / 9am-6pm weekends) or you can email email@example.com 24/7.
Whether you want support and advice for adapting to family life in lockdown, or you’re worried about a child, the NSPCC are here to help.
The coronavirus has brought so many changes to our lives. But some things never change – NSPCC are still here for children and still here to support you.
Advice to parents and carers on keeping children safe from abuse and harm can be found here from gov.uk Guidance and Support, published 25 June 2020
Caring For your Baby and Covid-19 information:
The Lullaby Trust, which raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies, has urged parents to avoid using face masks on babies. They said: "We are not aware of any advice for babies to wear masks, whether they are infected or not. There is a potential risk of suffocation and other hazards with doing this".
and the Government's official 'staying safe outside your home' guidelines also state: "Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly".
THINKUKNOW have released new online safety at home activity packs!
To help parents and carers during COVID-19, thinkuknow are releasing activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at home.
View further information and advice on keeping your child safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic at https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/
To help families through lockdown and social distancing, please view the following articles to help parents tackle some of the key issues they are experiencing, including:
As schools reopen across the UK over the next few weeks, pupils will be dealing with new school rules, routines, classrooms, classmates, teachers and, in some cases, even new schools.
With the revised Government advice regarding social distancing, like others, Children's services and its Partners have been considering how they can best continue to deliver the service.
MASH is currently taking place virtually with all partners in full support to ensure referrals continue to be screened effectively and timely in order to safeguard Children and Young People.
Please be advised there is no change to making a referral therefore please continue to do so in the usual way by consulting the right help right time guidance. More information on making a referral can be found here
All the conferences (both initial and review) are now taking place virtually. This enables the Conference Chairs and Review Coordinators to be able to continue to make a positive contribution to supporting decision making in relation to children and their plans.
In light of this new way of working, the requirement for every practitioner to ensure that they have shared their report with parents and, where appropriate, the child, the Conference Chair and the child’s social worker prior to the conference and in accordance with the Safeguarding Partnership Procedures is absolutely critical.
The service have a number of options available to enable parents, children and professionals to engage with the process and are currently exploring a conference call facility to assist with this. In any event, the Conference Chairs will always begin and end the conference by speaking with the parents and if it is appropriate to do so with the child.
The service also recognises that as the current situation develops we will need to keep these current arrangements under review therefore updates will be shown on this page.
Towards the start of ‘lockdown’, there was a temporary suspension of the transfer of the majority of cases (with discretion for some exceptions) of children with a Child Protection Plan who moved areas, to enable better continuity of child protection and safety plans, given the challenges of effectively transferring cases during this period. This has now been revised and practitioners should return to the normal arrangements as defined by Working Together 2018. This is with immediate effect. The relevant chapter can be found in the Regional Child Protection Procedures 1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries.
If you are visiting an adult in the community please use the following Safeguarding Leaflets
Please use this guidance to support decision making in respect of safeguarding adult concerns. To report a safeguarding concern please use the safeguarding referral form adult_safeguarding_concern_form_2017_may.docx or contact the Adults Intake Team
Telephone: 0300 555 2922
Textphone: 0845 111 2910
Today (09/04/20) the Department has published guidance on the application of DoLS during the pandemic. As you will know, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, including DoLS, still applies – it has not been altered by the Coronavirus Act 2020. We have to strike a careful balance between protecting some of the most vulnerable in our society and preventing the spread of the virus. This guidance offers temporary, proportionate measures to support DoLS decision-makers to provide the best possible care to those who need it whilst preventing transmission of the virus. This guidance is temporary and applies until withdrawn by the Department – it should not become the new-norm beyond the pandemic
DHSC’s emergency MCA/DoLS guidance: Updated 29 May 20 here
Skills for Care have published a central COVID-19 page to highlight key information. So far it includes:
You can view the page here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-how-dbs-is-supporting-the-fight-against-coronavirus this will be updated regularly as the situation develops.
WMFS are continuing to provide an emergency response across the region, and intend to continue to support the most at-risk members of our communities to keep them safe by delivering limited, risk-critical prevention activities to those who are most at risk and vulnerable to being injured or dying in a fire. These services will, however, be delivered in a way that keeps non-essential social contact to an absolute minimum and therefore protects those who have been identified as being most at risk of contracting Covid-19.
Further information and updates on our approach to Covid-19 can be viewed here - wmfs.net
WMFS urge partners to continue referring to WMFS those most at risk and vulnerable to fire in the usual way. For anyone unsure how to refer to WMFS, here are links to the referral forms:
Online Referral Form
Standard Referral Form
LGA Domestic Abuse Guidance For Councils has been released for Councils in tackling domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic
New: Best interests decisions – A COVID-19 quick guide
This quick guide aims to help people across social care and health settings to apply provisions of the Mental Capacity Act about making best interests decisions for or on behalf of people who lack the relevant capacity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated resource: SCIE COVID-19 hub
The SCIE updated hub brings together advice, insights and resources for social care providers dealing with COVID-19 as the Government works to slow down the spread and ease the restrictions of lockdown.
The NHS Pathway for Child Protection Medical Examinations during Covid-19 Pandemic can be viewed here - CP Pathway
Transfer of Responsibility between Authorities for Children with a Child Protection Plan - West Midlands’ Authorities Contingency Position Statement during COVID 19 Pandemic
The National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) has released a briefing on child death by suicide in England during lockdown. There is a concerning signal that child suicide deaths may have increased during the first 56 days of lockdown, but risk remains low and numbers are too small to reach definitive conclusions. Amongst the likely suicide deaths reported after lockdown, restriction to education and other activities, disruption to care and support services, tensions at home and isolation appeared to be contributing factors. The full report can be found here.
ICON is a programme of intervention, which reinforces a simple message to parents and carers regarding how to cope with infant crying. The term ICON, is a pneumonic which stands for:
I – Infant crying is normal
C – Comforting methods can help
O – It’s OK to walk away
N – Never, ever shake a baby
There will be more information following shortly on how ICON is being used in Walsall. For further details on the programme click here.
The Children’s Society have published a report ‘Life on Hold’. Their survey found a higher proportion of young people experiencing low well-being than previously. Whilst most children’s well-being will ‘bounce-back’, there will be some who will not. As a result, this crisis is likely to have lasting consequence on children who are not satisfied with their lives. However, while children are feeling the impacts now of the coronavirus and the lockdown measures, there is still a sense of optimism for their future. Children told the Children’s Society that through these difficult times they have enjoyed having a time to reflect, to learn new hobbies or restart old ones and have found gratitude for things in their life pre-lockdown.
A recent paper from the University of Oxford regarding an increase in Child and Adolescent violence towards parents during Covid -19.
With concerns raised regarding the long-term impact on mental health of both children and parents who may have experienced lockdown as traumatic and a need for increased support work to heal changed and damaged family relationships.
The See, Hear, Respond Partnership is a new Barnardos service funded by the Department for Education. With your help, the See, Hear, Respond Partnership will quickly identify and support children, young people and families who are struggling to cope with the impacts of coronavirus.
National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) have published their October Newsletter with key information on the impact of COVID-19 on child deaths.