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COVID-19 Children and Families

Children and families

Sutton Council, the voluntary sector and health services have come together to explain what support is available for families throughout winter. 


support sutton covid-19

Please have a read and connect with someone if you need support.

There is support available, some is virtual and some in person. 

For family information and advice call The Family Information Service on: 020 8770 6000

 

Key service information for children & families

  • If you are pregnant or have a new baby, you (parent/carer) can use  a new service called the ‘London Perinatal Mental Health Support Group’ which is run by Cacoon. This group will meet virtually, twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday 10.00am-11.00am, on Zoom

  • Kooth is an Online Counselling Service for 11 – 22 years in Sutton Young people can search ‘Kooth’ or visit kooth.com and get support for anything that's on their mind. 

  • There are also urgent helplines parents or a young person can call to talk about their mental health 24 hours a day:

    •          Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm - 020 3513 3800
    •          24 hours, 7 days a week - 0800 028 8000
  • Health visiting teams are providing home visits and virtual visits and there are virtual support groups available each week.
  • 4 Children’s Centres will remain open, Monday - Friday: at Tweeddale Children’s Centre, Green Oak Children’s Centre, Amy Johnson Children’s Centre and Thomas Wall Children’s Centre.

  • From 19 July one-way systems, pre-booking and social distancing requirements have been removed from library buildings and heritage houses. It is important for our visitors to act responsibly in managing the risks to protect themselves and others. As such we expect and recommend visitors wear face coverings indoors and use the hand sanitiser provided. Full details of the changes can be found here. Please follow the libraries social media channels for new updates. 

  • The Sutton Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop is open. People are able to leave their homes to visit the One Stop Shop and get the support they need - no appointment needed - just drop in. The One Stop Shop is every Wednesday, 9.30-11.30am, at Sutton Baptist Church, 21 Cheam Road, Sutton SM1 1SN.

 

How we will be safeguarding children during COVID-19

As the situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues, 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

  • Our Children’s First Contact Service (CFCS) 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 either complete CFCS referral form or contact 0208 770 6001 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or 020 8770 5000 out of hours.

  • Targeted Early Help continues to receive referrals and provide support to families. The large majority of our work is face to face, unless it suits the family, professional network and is safe and appropriate to continue with virtual interventions.

  • 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.

  • All our staff are being offered the opportunity to undertake rapid lateral flow tests (LFT) so we can quickly identify if they might have asymptomatic Covid-19.

 

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:

 

Education Settings

As pupils return to schools after the summer break the majority of restrictions have been lifted in schools as we move through the next phase of the pandemic. Having pupils back in school learning in their normal environments is critical but so is the ongoing safety of pupils and staff that work in schools.

As education settings reopen in the autumn term they continue to implement and review the COVID-19 control measures (below) to protect face-to-face childcare and education, minimise disruption to education experiences and the risk of infection. 

The control measures include:

  • good hand and respiratory hygiene and cleaning regimens

  • keeping buildings well ventilated

  • asymptomatic testing:

    • All secondary school students should take 2 on-site lateral flow tests (LFDs) on their return, followed by twice weekly testing 

    • All education staff should be testing twice a week 

All education settings will be communicating with parents directly about the control measures in place for all young children, pupils and staff. Parents are advised to contact their education setting for specific details of each setting’s arrangements if they are unclear.  

 

Information for parents

Parents should visit:

Links to Government guidance (some will be subject to further updates):

Parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) should also refer to guidance for full opening of special schools and other specialist settings 

 

School Nurses & Health Visitors 

The health visiting team duty helpline is available 9-5pm Monday - Friday 0208 770 5409 for any parent seeking support from the service. There is also a Facebook page offering updates of services available in the area and up to date health promotion information. Face to face contacts will also continue when appropriate including home visits and booked clinic appointments. We can also offer  a virtual video contact, virtual introducing solids and a virtual infant feeding clinic. 

Whilst your child is of school age they are able to access a School Nurse. The school health team consists of Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN), School Staff Nurses and Community Nursery Nurses. The team offers services throughout the year, including school holidays

All children attending state maintained schools and academies in Sutton have access to a School Nurse. The School Nursing team works with parents, carers, children and young people providing advice and support on a range of health and wellbeing topics . This can be part of direct work with individual children and families or as group talks within the classroom in both primary schools and high schools

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 4409 (Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm)

Alternatively there is an email address schoolnursing@sutton.gov.uk where enquiries from children, young people and families can be sent. This account is monitored Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm. There is also the School Nurse Instagram page “Sutton School Nursing Service” which is updated with health information, activities and signposting to other services.

Health Visitors and School Nurses face to face contacts will continue with clear assessment of risk prior to any contact to ensure the safety of all concerned. Full PPE is being used where necessary. 

School Nurses are liaising with schools and undertaking safeguarding contacts and confidential drop ins for young people with emotional and mental health difficulties to offer ongoing support and signpost to appropriate agencies including those from the voluntary sector.  Liaison is ongoing with the Designated Safeguarding Leads in schools.

If you need any more information, advice or support please contact the duty line on 0208 770 5409 from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm or visit our website or visit us on Facebook.

 

Domestic Abuse Services

The Sutton Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop is OPEN. People affected by domestic abuse can visit the One Stop Shop - it is free and can be anonymous if you wish.  

Our Independent Domestic Abuse Advisers (IDVAs) are available to offer face-to-face support and guidance to help you at the One Stop Shop drop-in sessions at Sutton Baptist Church, 21 Cheam Road, Sutton SM1 1SN on Wednesday mornings from 9.30am - 11.30am.

The drop-in sessions are 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.

The national domestic abuse helpline is available 24/7, every day of the week: 0808 2000 247.

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

  • 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 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.

Kooth Online Counselling Service for 11 – 22 years in Sutton 

Kooth is an online counselling and emotional well-being service for children and young people aged 11 - 22. Young people can search ‘Kooth’ or visit kooth.com and get support for anything that's on their mind. A short video has been produced for young people to example how Kooth can help – you and your child.

 

Urgent mental health helplines for children and young people

There are also urgent helplines parents or a young person can call to talk about their mental health 24 hours a day:

Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm - 020 3513 3800

24 hours, 7 days a week - 0800 028 8000

Off The Record

Off The Record provides counselling support to children and young people aged 11-25 years in Sutton, Merton and Croydon. Why not check out the COVID-19 section of their website for resources and how to sign up for support? They also offer a webinar programme for young people and have sessions running twice a week. Check the website for their upcoming workshops.

 

Children Centre Activities 

The following Children's Centres are currently open for 1:1 support:

  • Amy Johnson Children's Centre

  • Green Oak Children's Centre

  • Thomas Wall Children's Centre

  • Tweeddale Children's Centre

 

Council Play Service

The Council’s Play Service, will continue to run after school club sessions for vulnerable children and children of key workers that have been invited to attend school. The play service is expected to run the February Half Term Holiday club, however this is subject to change.

 

Family Information Service

Please do not hesitate to contact the Family Information Service for more information on: 0208 770 6000. The team can provide free information and advice about childcare provision for key workers, and general enquiries to support you and your family.

 

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme

Sutton Council has secured funding from the Department for Education to provide a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme for 6 weeks throughout 2021, during the school holidays. Please see Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme for further details and the Christmas programme.

Free School Meals 

Free School Meals (term time)

Schools will be providing free school meals for all eligible pupils. Where pupils are not able to attend school due to self isolation or national restrictions, schools will provide either food parcels or food vouchers. Please contact your school directly for details

To find out if you are eligible for free school meals please see here

 

Support to Access Food

If you are struggling to make ends meet, the Community Foodshop can support you to reduce your weekly shopping bills. 

To find out more about the Community Foodshop please see here.

If you are experiencing a crisis and need urgent support to access food you can seek support from Sutton Foodbank. See here to find out how to get help.