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Exceptional Delivery Model Children’s Social Care – Safeguarding

The Haringey Children’s Safeguarding Partnership (HCSP), recognises that the COVID 19 virus places increasing pressure on all services providing support to children, young people and their families. In this changing landscape safeguarding continues to be a priority.  As a partnership we will all have to do things creatively and differently to support  Haringey children and keep them safe.

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.
  • Help them to regulate their stress responses and recognise the emotional impact this is having on society.
  • Remain vigilant for the signs and indicators of abuse, including neglect and domestic violence, and raise safeguarding concerns with Haringey’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub-
  • 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. Additional resources have been deployed to the MASH to build capacity to support your agencies during this time to make those difficult decisions.
  • Haringey’s principles of working as set out in the Threshold Guide – we accept that 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. Much of our work has been adapted to utilise families’ social media links for this period of isolation.
  • 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 and to record information of the contact, sharing the outcome with Social workers and the MASH as appropriate.

In this exceptional time, Children social care will:

  1. Strengthen the resilience and capacity within the MASH by redeploying family support workers and suitably qualified officers to the MASH to:
  2. a) Support professionals who are working remotely and are not able to access their agency systems to make referrals into the MASH
  3. b) Set up the cause for concern MASH panels. Led by Early Help and the Head of Service for MASH, non-threshold needs will be reviewed to co-ordinated response provided to prevent needs escalating. The panel will be able to assist with a range of early support, for example, priority distribution of food parcels, interventions and signposting for children and young people on the cusp of social care who are not accessing education at this time.  
  4. c) Supporting the schools and Early Years to maintain contact with children , young people and their families, where families have proved challenging to contact for schools.
  5. Homelessness – In partnership with Homes for Haringey, Children Social Care will not be ending the accommodation for people found intentionally homeless or who are NRPF.  We will continue making the decisions where it is right to do so but will provide extended notice and support to families with children under 18 , to identify alternative accommodation. Families with disabled children who were expecting to move to more suitable accommodation will be supported to complete the move when it is deemed safe to do so. While awaiting the move, the parents will be supported to manage the identified risk by daily phone calls from the allocated social worker. Extended notice periods will be negotiated with landlords for those families that have been given notice to quit.
  6. Lead the identification of vulnerable children and young people across the partnership. To support this effort, HSCP asks each agency to review the vulnerable children, young people and unborns that they are currently working with and share the details with the nominated designated officers within your agencies. If the children, young people and unborns have an
  • allocated Social worker including DCT
  • Youth Offending Service officer
  • EHCP case worker
  • Early Help practitioners
  • Young Adults practitioner

The designated officers should discuss the impact of COVID 19 and agree the interim adjustments to the Care plans. In, the event that the adjustments cannot be agreed a resolution discussion must be held within 5 working days using the HSCP escalation policy.

  1. Child Protection Visits - in partnership with the Police North Area (Haringey and Enfield) Safeguarding Hub, the police will support Social Care to monitor the welfare of children and young people who are subject to child protection plans, in their localities.
  2. Contacts, Virtual visits and direct work with Children and young people. Working with our partners in Education, Children’s Social Care will share the responsibility for contacting children and young people with an allocated worker systematically on a Tuesday and Thursday. This means that schools in Haringey will routinely contact school aged children on roll, with an open CIN, CP or CIC plan on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This will be effective from Monday 6th April 2020. Please see the attached guides for visits and recordings.
  3. MAYA Angelou Contact Centre – will act as a COVID 19 safe point of contact for families with needs that cannot be managed virtually. This will include
  4. a) assessment and direct work for s.47 enquiries
  5. b) collection of food parcels and s.17 support
  6. c) distribution of PPE
  7. d) child development advice and support for single mothers with babies under two.

 

Additional information

Things to consider when visiting families – please see the ‘Record of Contact Guide’

Only essential visits should be undertaken as we work through the current crisis. It is of utmost importance that if you are working with children or families that you consider both their health and yours prior to any visits or contact. This includes maintaining a safe distance and washing your hands.

  • Staff, should follow national guidance if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or, high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others.
  • Follow your own agency’s advice on making contact with children, young people and families. 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.
  • Ensure you follow all the relevant guidance of minimising the spread of infection both prior to, and after being in contact with a family or child / young person.
  • Encourage families to follow government guidance on minimising the spread of infection and help them to be aware of the risks COVID-19 has on those with compromised or underlying health conditions.
  • If you are due to visit a child or family with a compromised or underlying health condition, make sure you are aware of the current COVID-19 guidance and speak to your manager for advice before your visit to secure priority access to PPE
  • If you have been knowingly in contact with a child or family (including your own) displaying any symptoms of being unwell then phone your manager for advice before returning to the office or visiting another child or family.

MASH CONTACT DETAILS

Please use the numbers below to contact MASH staff for advice:

  • Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5pm; Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm

Tel: 020 8489 4470

  • Out of office hours, including weekends the Emergency Duty Team

Tel: 020 8489 0000

Please only use the out of hours number if you are calling outside normal working hours. When ringing out of hours your call will by logged by our call centre who will take brief details. An Emergency Duty social worker will ring you back. Do not use this number if a child needs immediate assistance from the Police or Ambulance Services. In these cases, call 999.

 

Beverley Hendricks,

Assistant Director Safeguarding & Social Care

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Useful Links

Daily update from GOV.UK. available on:

https://www.gov.uk/

A summary of how many children and teachers attended education settings between Monday 23 March and Friday 17 April 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): attendance in education and early years settings

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people available on:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people