Last Updated 11:54am, 26 May 2021
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is going to affect everyone’s daily lives. To assist providers, below is some of the information applicable to children’s services. This is not an exhaustive list and much of the guidance is being updated daily, so please continue to review the coronavirus (COVID-19) list of guidance regularly.
Amendments to children’s social care legislation
New legislation came into force on 24 April 2020 that will temporarily affect the statutory obligations of children’s social care services across the country.
The government has published guidance for children’s social care services, which includes information about keeping residential settings safe from coronavirus.
Full guidance about education and childcare is also available on the government website.
Guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection has been published as well. So too has information about when to wear face coverings and any exemptions.
Supporting children and young people
This may be a difficult time for children and young people. As such, the government has produced guidance on how to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Details of local and national services to support young people are available.
Please refer to the latest government guidance about COVID-19 for health professionals and other organisations and Information Governance for health and care professionals. Advice on mental health and wellbeing available as well.
Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children, is available on the government website.
The government has guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning in non-healthcare settings.
Do you provide short breaks services for children and young people with SEND? The Children’s Commissioning Team are running a virtual short breaks provider forum. Meeting monthly, the forum offers a regular opportunity to come together to share information and learning and to explore service development.
If you’re interested in attending and would like to be added to our distribution list, please contact us.
Further guidance about protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is available on the government website.
Small Grants Scheme 2020/21
The small grants scheme is now open and inviting applications. The scheme can provide up to £5,000 to organisations to support children and young people (0-18) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). More information about the Small Grants Scheme is available on the DCFP website.
Applications close at midnight on 6 June.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has secured supplies against future demand, and at present there is no national shortage of PPE. In a letter dated the 4th September, the DHSC stated:
‘We have now procured sufficient PPE to meet national demand and would be able to supply local authorities directly with PPE for all COVID-19 use, over and above any BAU use, until 31 March 2021. This supply is being made available free of charge.’
Devon County Council will continue to support services, ensuring PPE is available locally as described below:
National PPE Portal
The nationally run ‘PPE Portal’ supplies free packages of PPE to the following sectors:
- Adult Social Care homes and Domiciliary Care Agencies
- Children’s Care homes and Secure Children’s care homes
- Children’s residential special schools
- Primary care (GP practices, optometrists, dental practices including urgent dental care centres)
- Community pharmacies
- Community Drug and Alcohol services
Services listed above are encouraged to register directly with Clipper to obtain the free PPE weekly (for additional requirements to pre-COVID use).
Devon County Council will continue to provide emergency supplies of PPE to these sectors in the case of an emergency or if the volumes do not meet the needs of the service.
Service providers with any queries relating to the National PPE portal, including how to get registered, should be directed to the PPE customer service team on 0800 876 6802. This number can also be used if you have concerns about a product’s suitability.
All services/organisations, should complete this PPE request form if they require emergency PPE from Devon County Council.
All services will need to collect their PPE from a local store. The 4 local stores are based in Barnstaple, Newton Abbot, Exeter and Tavistock.
All services listed above must evidence that they have ordered PPE through the PPE Portal routes and must describe why the emergency stock is required (e.g. COVID outbreak) before any PPE can be received.
Services not able to receive PPE via the national PPE Portal
If unable to access via normal supply routes, PPE will be available via Devon County Council for all services/organisations listed below.
- Local Authority services (including children’s and adult social workers)
- Mental health community care
- Personal Assistants
- Unpaid Carers
- Domestic Violence refuges
- Rough sleeping services
- Education (and childcare) services
All services listed above will need to complete this PPE request form if they require PPE.
All services will need to collect your stock from a local PPE store. The 4 local stores are based in Barnstaple, Newton Abbot, Exeter and Tavistock. Please allow at least five days’ notice when submitting a request for PPE.
The Council and its NHS partners remain committed to working with providers and services. Thank you for all that you are doing to support the people of Devon.
Other useful links and information
Health and wellbeing
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are offering additional crisis support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
If a child or young person (under 18) is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can now access CAMHS 24/7. Please contact 03300 245 321 during normal hours (8am-5pm, Mon to Fri) or 0300 555 5000 outside these hours. Callers will speak to a call handler, their call will be forwarded to a voicemail service and their message will be returned within one hour.
There are three CAMHS crisis teams: Torbay and South Devon; Exeter, East and Mid Devon; and North Devon. Your call will be directed to the appropriate team. In the event of an emergency, please call 999.
General information about CAMHS services and referrals can be found on the Children and Family Health Devon website.
Children and Family Health Devon have also produced this list of helpful resources, apps and organisations to support children, families and young people.
If you have a sexual health query, phone this number directly 0300 303 3989. A receptionist from the Devon Sexual Health service will take your contact details, and a clinician from the service will call back.
During this period, assessments are being completed by telephone and there are no drop-in clinics. Face-to-face appointments will be offered only when absolutely necessary.
Young people are still able to access sexual health services including free condom supplies, emergency contraception (both pill and coil), supply of contraceptive pills (for collection from the service), advice and referral for abortion care, testing for and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Anyone needing condoms or medication, can receive these by post or collect by arrangement at one of the three clinic sites (Barnstaple, Exeter or Torquay).
Free self-testing of sexually transmitted infections for under-25s is available via the Freetest website.
For further information is available on the Devon Sexual Health website.
Many youth services are available online, digitally and through telephone support. Please see the Space website for the latest information about youth services in Devon. Meanwhile, the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS), which champions the voices and rights of care experienced children and young people, has guidance and support available through its website.
Community and business support in Devon
Find out what community support is available in your local area. Meanwhile, Heart of the South West Growth Hub has additional information and support for businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The government has launched a Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. The new, free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Children’s Commissioner has produced these two useful guides:
- Children’s guide to Coronavirus
- Coronavirus, children and you: Advice, information, suggestions, answers and resources to help during the pandemic
Further support and contact
If you have any questions, there are impacts on your service as a result of COVID-19, or you need to speak to a member of the team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org