Supporting vulnerable children

In response to the Government’s ongoing requirement to ensure the safety and line of site of vulnerable children, Devon County Council’s Early Years and Childcare Service have update the Supporting Vulnerable Children Early Years Risk Assessment document to assist early years and childcare providers in safeguarding vulnerable children.

The definition of vulnerable children UPDATED

For many children, continuing to have the protective factor of face-to-face education is vital. Throughout the pandemic, settings have continued to provide on-site places for this group of children. As has been the case since March 2020, there are three categories of children and young people who should benefit from on-site provision:

  • those with a social worker
  • those with an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • a group of children considered locally, including by settings and local authorities, to be ‘otherwise vulnerable’

The Government have updated the guidance on children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access school or education settings to include a broader definition of children classified as vulnerable. In addition to the above, this list now includes:

  • children known to children’s social care services in the past
  • children whose home circumstances might be particularly challenging because of domestic abuse, parental offending, adult mental health issues, and drug and alcohol addiction

The intention of providing a broader definition is to support local decision making about children who might face increased risk inside or outside the home if they are unable to attend their setting, or who could not reasonably continue to learn remotely. The list is not intended to be exhaustive and local assessment will be based on knowledge of family and community risk.

Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings

List of critical workers (key workers) and vulnerable children and young people who can access full-time education provision in the case of future restrictions on education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Change made: updated the list of vulnerable children and young people, and who this includes.

Making every contact count

Children’s social care are asking that whenever an early years and childcare provider has regular contact with a child who is known to have an allocated social worker, professionals share the information with the children’s social care team using the ‘making every contact count’ form.

The form should be completed every half term giving details of the contact for that half term. Once complete, this form should be returned to:

Further details of making every contact count during the pandemic are available here.