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Coronavirus FAQ's for Sheffield education settings

This page includes answers to safeguarding questions raised by Sheffield education settings during the pandemic. It was last updated on 30.9.20; please also refer to the page: Coronavirus or Covid-19

Is there any guidance about the 'Coronavirus Addendum' for the safeguarding policy in education settings?

Is Operation Encompass running during the crisis?

  • From Sept 2020 the original processes for Operation Encompass are being used for Sheffield education settings 

Is the SCSP considering any virtual staff training?

  • We are developing virtual education safeguarding training & hope to be able to deliver this later in the autumn term 2020
  • Basic/whole-school training is temporarily replaced with the e-learning course 'Safeguarding Children in Education' & all DSL/D's have been emailed with information

What staff training is available while working at home?

  • There are a number of free e-learning courses available for staff here: E-learning

How do I contact the LADO?

Is there a secure platform that can be used for virtual safeguarding team meetings?

  • The 3 most secure platforms are Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts & Zoom (version 5)
  • No platform is 100% secure but balanced against the support needs of students
  • Any virtual meeting MUST ensure:
    • details of people being discussed are sent to participants securely beforehand and 'coded' 
    • meeting details are shared by secure email
    • passwords must be used to access the meeting
    • participants are identified by face or voice before starting
    • no other identifiable information is discussed at the meeting
  • For further advice please email sfinnigan@sheffieldclc.net

How do social workers 'RAG-rate' the needs of children they are involved with?

  • Red: high risk, significant concerns, court proceedings, severe neglect, some Public Law Outline; children needing 2-weekly visit; children not receiving school meal, poverty, no food bank access, children at home with extremely stressed parents; families with no support network due to professional sickness
  • Amber: children needing 4-weekly visit/contact from social worker; known risks being assessed & support required; concerns that risks could increase to 'red'
  • Green: family can wait 4 weeks or longer for visit & can support by phone; Social Care involvement to close; children stable on Supervision Orders; children considered under Section 7 (Children Act 1989)

How often should children currently receive contact from professionals?

  • Red: child contact at least fortnightly by social worker at home, school, video or phone call depending on risk assessment and whether seen by other professionals
  • Amber: child contact at least 4 weekly (12 weeks for Children's Disability Team) by a key childcare professional, as above
  • Green: child contact at least 4 weekly by a social care professional by video or phone; families of children with disabilities with additional support, weekly contact

How are social workers deciding whether to 'close' or 'step down' their involvement?

  • Children can only be removed from 'Child Protection' or 'Child in Need' Plans during the current period with the explicit agreement from ALL involved agencies and from senior managers in Children's Social Care that the child is safe at home

If the DSL/D's are not in the setting can we stay open with their support by phone?

  • Yes, this is a normal arrangement (see 'Availability' page 101, KCSIE 2020)

Does the Early Years Foundation Stage still apply?

How do staff make one-to-one & video calls to pupils at home safely?

How are Child Protection Conferences currently being held?

Are there any resources to explain Coronavirus to children?

Are there any resources to support children, families and staff with bereavement?

  • Yes, please visit the Bereavement page on this website

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