Everyone in the UK has had to adapt over the last couple of months - the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed all our lives.
For many children and families, this is a particularly challenging time. Children who are experiencing abuse and neglect may be finding it harder to speak out. And as everyone is spending more time at home, it’s more difficult for adults who work or volunteer with children to recognise and respond to child protection concerns.
But it’s vital that children’s safety and wellbeing is prioritised.
Keeping children safe during the pandemic
The voluntary and community sector has always had an important role in supporting children and families. Over the last few weeks, many new community groups have been set up to support vulnerable people across the UK. Other groups and organisations are adapting their services so they can continue to engage with and support young people throughout the pandemic.
If you are a part of a new voluntary group, you must make sure you’re keeping children safe, right from the start.
And even if your organisation or group already has robust safeguarding and child protection measures in place, there are likely to be extra considerations during these challenging times.
Your organisation or group may feel like there’s a lot to do at the moment. You might be operating with reduced finances and fewer staff and volunteers. You might be worried about some of the children you work with. You may also be trying to plan ahead so you can continue to keep children safe when social distancing measures are relaxed across the UK.
So we’ve pulled together some resources that can help everyone in the voluntary and community sector safeguard and protect children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes information about:
- writing and updating safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures
- making sure your staff and volunteers are safe to work with children
- supporting children and families
- recognising and responding to abuse
- carrying out online activities and events.