Coronavirus (COVID-19): looked after children and young people - family contact

Guidance for managers, social workers and social care providers arranging contact between looked after and accommodated children and young people and their families in both local authority premises, community settings and in some circumstances, a private dwelling.

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Where considerations are being made about face-to-face family contact for children and young people, the guiding principle is that this should proceed in line with public health guidance. Preventing transmission depends on everyone involved in the plan following all relevant infection control advice, all of the time.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with the approach for home visiting in Coronavirus (COVID-19): safe and ethical social work practice. In addition, the collaborative document published by Social Work Scotland, SWS Contact Framework, sets out the principles and framework within which decision makers can consider each child’s individual needs and circumstances in the context of public health measures.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we know there are many varied ways in which social work professionals have continued to support families. It is essential to balance the need to protect, support and supervise, with the need to avoid causing harm by spread of infection. Family contact should be locally risk assessed and planned in advance, taking account of local guidance and the public health guidance. More information about coronavirus (COVID-19) is available from NHS Inform and from

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