Coronavirus: safeguarding and child protection

Last updated: 05 Mar 2021

Helping you support children during the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns

Safeguarding and child protection are as important now as they ever have been. With lockdowns, tier systems and social distancing measures in place across the UK, it’s difficult for adults to keep in regular contact with children and check on their welfare.

We’ve put together a list of services and resources to support your work with children, young people and their families during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

We’ll be updating and adding to this information as things change in each UK nation.

Keeping up-to-date

Our weekly current awareness email for child protection policy, practice and research is a good way to keep up-to-date with the changing legislation and guidance in all four nations of the UK.

> Sign up to CASPAR

Concerns about a child’s wellbeing

We all have a responsibility to keep children safe. This is even more important at a time when children aren’t being seen by a range of professionals on a daily basis.

We’ve put together some information on the NSPCC website to explain how to spot the signs of abuse and neglect while social distancing measures are in place.

If you have any concerns about a child’s wellbeing, contact the NSPCC Helpline.

Our trained professionals will talk through your concerns with you, give you expert advice and take appropriate action to protect the child.

Call us on 0808 800 5000 or email

Safeguarding guidance

Safeguarding guidance

Here you’ll find a range of resources to help you continue safeguarding young people during the pandemic. See our briefings, reports, best practice and podcast episodes.


For schools

Last updated: 1 March 2021

We’ve used the government guidance for schools across the UK to answer frequently asked questions about safeguarding during the pandemic.

> Read the briefing

For early years providers

Last updated: 23 February 2021

We've collated the guidance for registered and regulated early years providers on safeguarding and child protection during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

> Read the briefing

For social workers

Last updated: 1 March 2021

We’ve pulled together guidance from across the UK to help social workers and local authorities keep children safe during the pandemic.

> View the briefing


How safe are our children? 2020 report

Last updated: 25 August 2020

This year’s How safe are our children? report includes an overview of emerging data on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the safety of children and young people in the UK.

> Read the report

Social isolation and the risk of child abuse during and after the pandemic

Last updated: 25 June 2020

Read our report summarising the risks to children’s safety due to the conditions created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and why these risks might intensify during the pandemic.

> Read the report

Best practice

Undertaking remote teaching safely

Last updated: 14 January 2021

We’ve set out the safeguarding considerations for remote teaching during the pandemic. Although this information is aimed at schools, the principles of best practice will also be helpful for people carrying out other activities remotely.

> Find out more

Recruiting safely during coronavirus

Last updated: 13 January 2021

We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you make sure anyone you’re recruiting during the pandemic is suitable to work with children.

> Check out the guide

Voluntary and community groups

Last updated: 13 January 2021

There are lots of challenges for voluntary and community sector groups and organisations at the moment. We’ve pulled together some resources to help keep children safe.

> Read our guidance

School governors and trustees

Last updated: 12 January 2021

We’ve pulled together some things to consider to help governors and trustees support their schools during the pandemic.

> Find out more

Updating your safeguarding policies and procedures

Last updated: 11 January 2021

Existing safeguarding and child protection policies may not reflect new, unprecedented ways of working during the pandemic. We've listed five steps that you can take to ensure your policies and procedures are up-to-date.

> Discover what the five steps are

Ofsted's new briefing series on COVID-19 interim visits

Last updated: 30 November 2020

We've summarised the key findings relating to safeguarding and child protection from Ofsted's new set of briefings about interim visits to social care providers and education settings in England.

> Learn more

Sports clubs and organisations

Last updated: 2 July 2020

The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) has put together an information page about safeguarding in sport during the coronavirus pandemic on their website. This includes some best practice information about remote sports coaching.

> Read the CPSU guidance on safeguarding in sport

> Learn about remote teaching and coaching

The Department of Education's new guidance for out-of-school settings

Last updated: 2 November 2020

Provides a summary of what the Department for Education’s (DfE) new guidance for out-of-school settings (OOSS) providers in England covers, including some of the key messages from the guidance.

> Get up to date

Transitioning back to school

Last updated: 25 February 2021

Provides information on what schools needed to consider in terms of safeguarding and child protection as children return to school in Spring 2021.

> Read the full news story

Podcast episodes

Impact of coronavirus on school staff and pupils

Last updated: 22 June 2020

Listen to our one-to-one chat with a head of department at a secondary school to better understand the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on school staff and pupils.

> Tune in​

Returning to school post-lockdown

Last updated: 15 June 2020

Understand more about how the education sector has been affected by the pandemic and how schools have been operating during lockdown and post-lockdown.

> Listen to the episode

Supporting children

Supporting children

What can you do to support children and young people during this difficult time? Browse our briefings, best practice, podcast episodes, books and the Childline website for more information.


The impact of domestic abuse

Last updated: 10 June 2020

This briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

> Read the briefing

The impact of physical abuse

Last updated: 2 September 2020

What have children and adults told the NSPCC helpline and Childline about physical abuse during the coronavirus pandemic?

> See our briefing

The impact of sexual abuse

Last updated: 10 August 2020

This insight briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of sexual abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

> Find out more

The impact of online abuse

Last updated: 12 October 2020

This briefing shares what children, young people and adults have been saying to Childline and the NSPCC helpline about children being targeted for online sexual abuse during the pandemic.

> Learn more

What children are saying to Childline

Last updated: 17 April 2020

An overview of the main concerns children and young people contacted Childline counsellors about between 21 January 2020 and 8 April 2020. 

> Read the briefing

What children are telling Childline about school

Last updated: 22 December 2020

We look at what children and young people have told Childline about being away from school and then returning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

> See the briefing

Best practice

How to have difficult conversations

Last updated: 17 April 2020

It’s not always easy to start a conversation about a tricky subject such as coronavirus. We’ve got some advice about how to have difficult conversations with children and young people.

> Read our tips

Learning Disability Week 2020

Last updated: 15 June 2020

We've pulled together resources and training to help you protect children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and additional needs. The theme for this year's Learning Disability Week is the importance of friendship during lockdown.

> Get more information

Online safety during coronavirus

Last updated: 14 January 2021

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown, children are relying even more on online technology. Learn how to protect children from the risks they face online.

> Read the advice

Protecting children from domestic abuse

Last updated: 10 June 2020

Childline counselling sessions and NSPCC helpline contacts about domestic abuse have increased since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. We've pulled together some insight and resources to help anyone who works or volunteers with children to recognise and respond to domestic abuse during the pandemic.

> Read the full news story

Supporting children and young people’s mental health

Last updated: 8 January 2021

It's important that we support children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing through this challenging time. We've compiled resources that you can use or share with others to help support children's mental health and wellbeing.

> Take a look at the resources

Podcast episodes

Going virtual with Speak out Stay Safe

Last updated: 19 October 2020

We've made changes to how our Schools Service is being delivered. Listen to the episode to find out why we're now delivering the Speak out Stay safe programme online and how this affects primary schools in the UK and Channel Islands.

> Play the episode

How Childline has been supporting children during COVID-19

Last updated: 27 July 2020

Hear about what children and young people have expressed concerns about in the past few months, new challenges they're experiencing and how they're coping during the pandemic.

> Find out more

The impact on delivering children’s services during lockdown

Last updated: 29 June 2020

Social distancing has made it difficult for practitioners to carry out their regular check-ins with children and families. How have they responded to these challenges to ensure needs are still met?

> Listen to the episode

Books for children who are worried or anxious

Our library service has put together a reading list of books you can use to support children who are experiencing stress and anxiety at this time.

> View the list


Childline can provide children and young people with free, confidential advice and support. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and children can also get support online. See the Childline website for:

Supporting parents and carers

Supporting parents and carers

Best practice

Adapting our perinatal mental health services

Last updated: 4 May 2020

​Find out how we are adapting our perinatal mental health services to help families and children during the coronavirus pandemic.

> Read the full news story


Learning from adapting the Baby Steps programme in response to COVID-19

Last updated: 16 December 2020

The first in our service development insight briefing series looks at how we've been ensuring that parents and families continue to receive the perinatal support they need during the pandemic and what we've learnt about our virtual Baby Steps programme during the process.

> See the report

Podcast episodes

Antenatal and postnatal care during COVID-19

Last updated: 8 June 2020

Find out how antenatal and postnatal services have adapted in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) to continue to support parents before, during and after pregnancy.

> Listen to the episode

Providing perinatal education during COVID-19 through Baby Steps

Last updated: 30 November 2020

We have continued to support expectant parents through our perinatal education service which is being delivered by external organisations in different locations. Listen to our latest episodes to find out more about how we did this during the pandemic and the research we uncovered.

Advice on the NSPCC website

This is a really difficult time for parents and carers, so we've got some advice to support them on the NSPCC website:

Online training

Online training

Now might be a good time for people who are social distancing or in self-isolation to brush up on their child protection training.

> Have a look at our online child protection courses

Free safeguarding awareness training

We're temporarily making our paid-for online course free to access to support anyone who enters or visits people's homes to recognise the signs of abuse and neglect and know what to do to protect a child during this challenging time.

> Take our free online course

Support from us

Support from us

Information service

Our free Knowledge and Information Service is still open to help you find the information and resources you need to keep children safe.

> Contact the Information service

Consultancy service

Our Consultancy team in England is currently offering a free 30 minute call, offering advice and support specific to your safeguarding arrangements. For example we can help you review and update your safeguarding policies using our suite of Health Checks (these can be carried out remotely).

> Find out more about our Consultancy service