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 beginning to reintroduce some 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 continue to offer face-to-face visits for those children and families who we feel are most in need of support and over the coming weeks as social distancing guidelines relax we will be increasing the amount of face-to-face visits we offer. 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 are monitoring the capacity of our workforce every day and have redeployed some staff to assist with priority work across the Council.
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
Schools and Early Years settings will be opening for more pupils from 1 June (EY, Year R,1 and 6) and from 15 June (Year 10 and 12 in secondary). In collaboration with Children’s Social Care, all schools will continue to maintain regular contact with their vulnerable students either in school or outside of school through welfare checks. Efforts are being made to encourage all vulnerable pupils to be attending school now we have moved 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.
Domestic Abuse Services
Our local Transform service continues to offer support to victims, children and perpetrators of domestic abuse. If you are worried about keeping you or your children safe, or if you are worried about hurting someone you love, you can speak to an IDVA who can get you the help you need. Call Transform on 020 8092 7569 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an emergency, always call 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 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.