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Comment on DfE’s Vulnerable Children and Young People...

Commenting on the latest findings of the Department for Education’s Vulnerable Children and Young People survey, ADCS President Jenny Coles said:

“The latest findings from the survey clearly show that the pandemic continues to impact on the lives of children and families, particularly the most vulnerable. Although Covid-19 appears to pose a lower risk of infection to children and young people, they have been affected by the secondary impacts of the pandemic such as loss of learning, the impact on their mental and emotional health and being unable to access services they may have previously relied on. As the survey findings note, local authorities are now seeing greater complexity of need being presented by children and families. Added to this, we know that early help and preventative services across the country are experiencing an increase in demand. Now more than ever we need to work with children and families who are at risk of poor outcomes at the earliest possible stage, but only with adequate long-term national investment can we continue to provide this vital support.

“Throughout the pandemic, all local authorities have had to consider how we can deliver essential services as members of our workforce fall ill or are required to self-isolate, including our social workers. Although the latest survey findings show that the number of social workers being unable to work due to coronavirus has slightly increased, local authorities have adapted, for example by redeploying their existing staff to fill gaps because those staff are already familiar with local arrangements and systems. The whole workforce has continued to work incredibly hard throughout the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns but we anticipate that our peak in referrals to children’s services is yet to come. When it does this will put added pressure on a workforce that was already under strain pre-Covid-19.”


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