Children and families
How we will be safeguarding children in this period
As the situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to develop, Sutton Council remains committed to helping you and your family to stay safe. The Council and partners, including the community and voluntary sector, are working together to continue to support and safeguard children.
Safeguarding delivered differently
During this period, we need to continue to ensure that all children are safe in their homes and that all children, families and carers receive the support they need. Due to social distancing and the need to support capacity across Council services, the way we deliver this support may look a bit different to normal:
Our Children’s First Contact Service continues to be the front door for Children’s Services and who you should contact if you need to tell us about a child you are concerned about. To make a referral: CFCS referral form or contact 0208 770 6001 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or 020 8770 5000 out of hours.
We are offering targeted Early Help support and services in a considered way to ensure we maintain the ability to respond to any wider service support needs if necessary.
We continue to deliver support for children at risk of harm and in need of protection.
We have risk assessed all children currently open to Children’s Services to help us to consider what level of contact these children require and whether they should continue to attend school.
We are increasing the amount of face-to-face visits we are offering to children and families. For those where it is still not possible to offer face-to-face visits we will continue to support via phone or video calls.
We continue to closely support all our foster carers, kinship carers and placement staff who are caring for our children in care.
We are monitoring all new safeguarding referrals to ensure that the Council and wider partnership, such as police and health, can respond quickly to any emerging trends/themes as necessary.
We continue to monitor the capacity of our workforce every day so that we can remain responsive to any increase in demands.
How we are working together to help children
The Sutton Local Safeguarding Children's Partnership are working together to ensure that all children and families in Sutton are kept safe and healthy during this period. Some examples of the support being offered is outlined below:
Schools/Early Years Settings
Since 1 June education settings have been open to additional pupils above and beyond pupils of critical workers or from vulnerable pupils. In primary schools the this has been pupils in EY, Year R, 1 and 6) and from 15 June Year 10 and 12 pupils have been able to attend secondary schools. The Government have now announced that all schools and education settings will be able to open fully to all pupils from 1 September. Given the loss of education throughout the pandemic it is crucial that all pupils, and in particular our most vulnerable pupils, return to school and get back into the routine of attending school. In collaboration with Children’s Social Care, all schools are working on measures to encourage a successful transition back into school within the guidelines set by the Government as we move into the next phase of the COVID-19 national response. For more information on schools and education in Sutton during COVID-19 see our FAQs.
School Nurses & Health Visitors
A duty helpline has been set up for any parent seeking support from their health visitor. There is also a Facebook page offering daily updates of services available in the area and up to date health promotion information.
School Nurses are offering virtual support to parents and children and young people to support their health needs.
The School Nurse duty telephone contact number for parents / carers is 020 8770 5409 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm). The telephone number for young people is 020 8770 5409 (Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm)
Alternatively there is an email address where enquiries from children, young people and families can be sent: email@example.com This account is monitored Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm. There is also the School Nurse Instagram page “Sutton School Nursing Service” which is updated daily with health information, activities and signposting to other services.
Health Visitors and School Nurses are returning to face to face contacts where a full risk assessment has been undertaken to ensure the safety of all concerned.
Domestic Abuse Services
The Sutton Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop which runs on a Wednesday morning as a drop-in session is now open again.
Our Independent Domestic Abuse Advisers (IDVAs) are available to offer face-to-face support and guidance to help you at Sutton Baptist Church, 21 Cheam Road, Sutton SM1 1SN on Wednesday mornings from 9.30am-11.30am.
The drop-in sessions will be conducted with COVID-19 safety measures in place, i.e. observing social distancing; ensuring that hand washing facilities are available etc.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, or if you are worried about your own behaviour, support is available. Contact Transform on 020 8092 7569 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an emergency, always dial 999.
Further information and help can be found at notaloneinsutton.org.uk. You are not alone and help is available
Resources to help you
There are lots of different resources and guidance online, sometimes it can feel difficult to know what to search for. We have worked with partners across the voluntary sector in Sutton and shortlisted some of the favourite online resources to support families. You can access them here.
For information, guidance and resources to help parents and carers who are supporting their children’s learning at home, please see the Department of Education website.
The Government has issued advice to parents and carers on keeping children safe from abuse and harm.
The Children’s Commissioner for England has also helpfully put together a page of information and resources for children, educators and parents/carers to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
CAFCASS have provided some helpful information and advice on co-parenting during covid-19.
Homestart also has further information and resources for families.
If you need further support or advice
You may be anxious about what might happen in the event of you falling unwell. We recommend planning ahead, with family and friends, if possible, to consider the support you could get from the people that your child trusts and knows, as and when you may need it.
If you have immediate concerns about your child’s safety please call the Children’s First Contact Service on 020 8770 6001 who can assist you.
The Sutton Carers Centre remains open and is offering advice and information to carers and young carers during this time. For further information on what support they can offer, please see their webpage for more information or call them on 020 8296 5611.
If you need help with your wider needs, please fill in our request support form and a member of our Community Hub will contact you. You can complete the form at any time. You can find out further information on our How to ask for Help page.