ADCS response to OCC report on vulnerable children

Charlotte Ramsden, ADCS Vice President, said:

“We are concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable. It’s important to recognise that lockdown measures will be affecting children in different ways and some who we would not usually consider as vulnerable will be presenting with new needs that we will need to meet, plus some who were already vulnerable will be facing additional challenges both now and in the future. We welcome recent funding announcements for children’s social care, but it’s likely more will be needed.

“Local authorities are reporting referrals to children’s social care as being lower than usual which is an obvious worry for us, but we are absolutely clear that where children and families need help and support we are here for them. Social workers are prioritising face to face contact with children most at risk, many schools and early years settings are keeping in touch with those they actively support and local safeguarding partnerships have been and continue to work hard to raise awareness of hidden harm. Our multi-agency partnership work remains in place but in new and challenging circumstances. Sources of information and advice are available if someone is worried about a child and we would encourage people to make use of that if needed.

“We understand many parents and carers will be worried about sending children to school because of the pandemic. Local authorities remain committed to increasing the number of vulnerable children attending school, where children aren’t attending school social workers and schools are keeping in touch with them and working hard to encourage attendance where safe to do so.

“Local authorities and their partners remain absolutely committed to keeping children and young people safe from harm and protecting their welfare. New, virtual and innovative ways of supporting children and young people that keep them at the heart of services have sprung up at pace across the country and this is something to be proud of.”

ENDS



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