Coronavirus (COVID-19): children, young people and families - evidence and intelligence report

Overview of the latest evidence and intelligence about the impact of COVID-19 and the response on children, young people and families, in particular, those experiencing the greatest challenges.

Annex B- Practice examples from Local Partnerships

  • Dumfries and Galloway has stressed the role of heightened partnership working as key to delivery in some areas at the speed required – enabling both sides to work together in a different way – collaboratively and with shared ownership. For example, they worked in partnership with homeless colleagues to support young people who are care leavers, and creatively used community options which have included creation of supported accommodation throughout the region such as colleges, guest houses and hotels. And they have continued to support those commissioned services and independent providers who provide services to support the day to day functioning of Statutory Social Work Services and from third sector agencies across the region that were already established in communities. Examples include:
  • Action for Children and Barnardo's providing a direct support as well as administering an emergency fund for young people and families
  • DGHP have continued to offer direct support via the telephone, FaceTime, etc. for young people living in supported accommodation
  • Quarriers have continued to link directly with families to support them and in exceptional circumstances have continued to offer direct support
  • Brokerage placements have continued for those vulnerable families who require such services
  • Support from communities themselves for the additional support to our most vulnerable – telephone calls, delivery of food parcels/medication/shopping
  • In Dundee, a risk rating assessment framework was adopted to determine whether vulnerable families supported by Social Work were seen on a face- to- face basis weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Overall, out of 1,200 families receiving support, 40% were seen at least fortnightly and the remainder monthly, with additional support provided through regular telephone and video calls with many. In some teams supporting particularly vulnerable groups, such as a team which supports pregnant women with babies who are at risk of harm, 80% of families are seen and supported at least fortnightly. The attendance of some of these children and young people at one of 8 Community Support Centres has informed these assessments and forms part of overall support. In relation to Looked After Children, proportionate support is similarly provided, including in relation to their digital engagement with learning to try and avoid further widening of the attainment gap.
  • East Lothian set up youth work sessions for vulnerable older young people whose needs were not being met by the hubs. Many of these young people had poor mental health, were at risk of home/placement breakdown or of offending. 70 referrals were received. The service (which it is hoped will continue over the summer and perhaps beyond) demonstrates productive multi agency working from a wide range of professionals including the third sector with staff working beyond their normal roles to support the young people through sport, music and the arts.
  • In conjunction with Child Protection Committees Scotland, East Renfrewshire's Communications Team ran an Eyes and Ears Open Campaign during April 2020 to highlight the additional vulnerability that children and young people were facing when not in school.
  • Residential Children's Services in Glasgow worked incredibly hard post lockdown. All 20 homes and 143 young people were settled and after 12 weeks in lockdown there were only 2 placement breakdowns – an amazing reflection on staff dedication and the remarkable young people themselves. Equally, in terms of foster care of 729 placements there were again only 2 placement disruptions in 12 weeks and only 6 placement disruptions out of 1300 children in kinship care placements.
  • Highland CHAMPS have worked with a local vet to deliver dogs for the day to support young people living in aftercare on their own. The dogs have reduced loneliness and boredom and improved the young people's mental health and physical activity levels.
  • North Lanarkshire Virtual School Covid Support has provided a range of resources to support families and young people including family activity packs, outdoor learning packs, parenting leaflets as well as direct contact with young people who are struggling but not at a hub. This latter support often takes the form of nature walks or outdoor activities to allow young people to discuss their concerns safely with a trusted adult. A range of support is being offered over the summer holidays including a Forest Summer Camp.
  • South Lanarkshire set up Meals at Home delivering a hot meal every day to enhance the family or young adults' existing care plan. The service started in April and has delivered over 20,000 meals since. Volunteer staff involved in the project are local authority employees unable to undertake their usual work due to lockdown and they include librarians, lifeguards, architects and joiners.
  • In West Lothian, Social Policy identified premises, staffing, transport and delivered weekly sessions for some vulnerable children – for under 8's at Livingston Family Centre and the COZ resource in Bathgate owned by Children 1st, and school age children at Simply Play, a third sector play organisation for primary age children. This came into operation on the 3rd April. Numbers were determined so that social distancing could be observed and compliance with Care Inspectorate and Health and Safety parameters. A service was provided for 170 children per week. Children are transported to and from home, provided with a hot meal and a food parcel for their family.
  • Also in West Lothian, families caring for children affected by significant and complex disabilities were experiencing significant pressures due to usual routes of breaks from caring and support for them being reduced. Alternative supports were developed and an outreach service delivered jointly by Social Policy and Education to provide respite for families. A respite resource was also created at Inveralmond Community High School that enabled carers of children with disabilities to have a break from caring



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