Coronavirus (COVID-19) safeguarding guidance
Active Norfolk recognises that there are a series of challenges arising as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak connected to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
The closure of schools and the cancellation of physical activity and sports sessions, training groups and matches will mean less contact between vulnerable people and those who often act as the eyes and ears of the community.
Teachers and community volunteers (e.g. sports coaches) are often the first to spot signs of abuse and neglect and, with agencies being focused elsewhere, we must work together to protect the most vulnerable.
Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership has a dedicated page of resources for people working with children during the coronavirus outbreak. Follow them on Twitter at @norfolklscp for more information.
The Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership has shared the following advice and information:
- Where possible, keep contact with families to keep them informed/communication lines open. Offer support via the telephone where this is possible and have a think about the families most in need. For some children school is their safe space and for others it is where they are fed. With the schools shut then there may be children who have additional needs/risks by being at home.
- Report all concerns about the welfare of children to CADS on 0344 800 8021 or the Police as normal, ensuring you make careful records. If you have any concerns about the welfare of adults please phone the Police or Norfolk County Council on 0344 800 8020.
- Remember the Early Help Hubs are still operating. Both these and CADS have information on where families can access practical support or food parcels. The Early Help Hubs in your area can be contacted here https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/early-help-and-family-support/get-early-help-and-family-support
This information has been pulled together to support individuals and organisations during the coronavirus outbreak. For more general information about safeguarding please see our Safeguarding and Safer In Sport pages.
All existing sources of support (below) remain open and able to provide support during the Covid-19 pandemic:
Local Authority Designated Officers
Can be contacted via email on LADO@norfolk.gov.uk or using the LADO central telephone number 01603 223473 for advice and consultation.
Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership
0808 800 5000
18 or under? Childline offers free, confidential advice and support whatever your worry, whenever you need help www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/you-your-body/my-body/sport-exercise/
***Childline is for Children only and is a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Important update: Because of the coronavirus, Childline have had to make some changes to how Childline works. For now, you can only speak to a Childline counsellor online or on the phone from 9am – midnight.***
Reporting and resources around concerns about online sexual abuse
Ann Craft Trust - Adults at Risk
Support for people experiencing poor mental health
YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
SelfharmUK is a project dedicated to supporting young people impacted by self harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask any questions and be honest about what's going on in your life.
Harmless is a national voluntary organisation for people who self harm, their friends, families and professionals.
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
Samaritans provides confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress and despair.
Childline - Managing your Anxiety page has some guidance and advice on managing anxiety and coping with stress.
Are your children safe online?
Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the implementation of strict social distancing rules and the closure of schools, young people will inevitably have more opportunity to access online apps, games and sites.
Do you know if your children are safe online? The NSPCC has a handy guide which covers everything from parental controls to the risks with online gaming.
During this time, we are all discovering new apps which are helping us to become better connected. One which your teenagers or friends may have shared is the "Houseparty" app. Whilst this app can be suitable for young people (over the age 13 years old), it is very important as parents that you understand the way it works so that you can ensure young people are safe. The iNEQE safeguarding group have shared a number of top tips, click HERE to find out more.
What is coronavirus? An explainer for children
Working in the sector with children or vulnerable adults?
During this time, you may not be in contact with participants, pupils, teammates or colleagues as often as usual. With this in mind, it is now, more than ever just as important that we continue to provide the vital support that may be needed to keep children and/or vulnerable adults safe.
The NSPCC & Ann Craft Trust have a great selection of E-Learning courses, webinars, videos & advice to support you in your role, whether you are a teacher, sports coach, volunteer or parent. To find out more please follow the links below: