Coronavirus and domestic abuse

Sources: Home Office, Welsh Government, Scottish Government
Date: 29 March – 02 April 2020

The Home Office has published guidance highlighting help and support available to victims of domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak in England. The Welsh Government has announced a range of measures to help those at risk, especially those who may find it hard to seek help if they are isolated at home with a violent or abusive partner. The Scottish Government has made funds available to Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland to ensure that access to these services is maintained during the crisis.

Read the guidance for England: Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse
Read the press release for Wales: Support for victims of domestic abuse
Read the news story for Scotland:Support for victims of domestic violence during COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus: social distancing in education settings

Sources: Department for Education, Department of Education, Scottish Government, Welsh Government
Date: 24 March 2020 – 03 April 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) in England, The Department of Education in Northern Ireland, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government have all published guidance on maintaining social distancing in education settings that are providing care to vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

Read the guidance for England: Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings
Read the guidance for Northern Ireland:Implementing social distancing in education settings in NI: coronavirus (Covid-19)
Read the guidance for Scotland:Coronavirus (COVID-19): social distancing in education and childcare settings
Read the guidance for Wales: Health and well-being for school staff and learners: coronavirus

Coronavirus: online safety

Source: Thinkuknow
Date: 02 April 2020

The National Crime Agency (NCA) CEOP command has launched a campaign to help keep children safe online during the coronavirus pandemic. The #OnlineSafetyAtHome campaign contains home activity packs with 15-minute activities for parents and carers to do with their children using CEOP’s Thinkuknow educational resources. New activities will be launched fortnightly. The NCA has warned of a spike in online child sex offending during the coronavirus crisis, with latest figures indicating that there are at least 300,000 people in the UK posing a sexual threat to children. An article in the Guardian reports on NSPCC concerns that a shortage of moderators who combat sexual abuse online combined with children spending more time on the internet at home has created a “perfect storm” for abusers to take advantage of the pandemic.

Read the Thinkuknow news story and download the packs: Home activity packs (PDF)
Read the NCA news story:Law enforcement in coronavirus online safety push as National Crime Agency reveals 300,000 in UK pose sexual threat to children
Read the Guardian news story: Coronavirus lockdown raises risk of online child abuse, charity says

Coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing: safeguarding guidance and information for schools

With schools across the UK closing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, professionals need guidance on how best to support and protect children and young people.

This briefing pulls together key safeguarding guidance from all four UK nations on how to keep children safe during the pandemic. It answers frequently asked questions including:

  • who has to go to school?
  • how should attendance be monitored?
  • what happens if nominated child protection leads need to self-isolate or become ill?
  • what should schools do about free school meals?
  • what happens with families who have contact arrangements or where parents are separated?

Link to the full document:

Source: NSPCC

Health inequalities in childhood

Source: Children’s Commissioner for England
Date: 04 March 2020

The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a paper highlighting the main inequalities in child health in England, and calls for more focus on the health inequalities in early childhood that manifest before a child starts school. Key points at which these inequalities should be identified and addressed include: during pregnancy and birth; at two and a half years old; and in reception year in primary school.

Read the news story:Health inequalities briefing
Read the report:Children’s Commissioner’s briefing: health inequalities in childhood (PDF)

Source: CASPAR

Mental wellbeing in Wales

Source: Public Health Wales
Date: 09 March 2020

Public Health Wales has published an interactive profile looking at mental wellbeing, including child personal wellbeing in Wales. Findings include: more than a quarter of young people aged 11-16 did not feel they had mental health support at school; and over two thirds of young people agreed they got help and emotional support they needed from their families

Read the news story: New profile looks at mental wellbeing in Wales
View the profile: Mental wellbeing in Wales

Source: CASPAR

Youth services

Source: Children and Young People Now
Date: 11 March 2020

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime has published a report following an inquiry looking at what effective youth work looks like for children and young people and the role of youth services in England in helping to tackle knife crime and serious youth violence. Recommendations to government include: conducting a national audit to establish the extent of youth services and their capacity to deliver services particularly in deprived communities; funding local authorities to invest in sustainable long-term youth work; and introduce a statutory requirement to local authorities for a minimum level of professional youth services provision.

Read the news story: MPs call for investment in youth workers to prevent knife crime
Read the report: Securing a brighter future: the role of youth services in tackling knife crime (PDF)

Source: CASPAR

Online child sexual abuse

Source: IICSA
Date: 12 March 2020

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published a report following its investigation into online-facilitated child sexual abuse. The report looks at the response of law enforcement, the internet industry and government to online-facilitated child sexual abuse by considering the response to three types of offending including: indecent images of children offences; the grooming of a child; and live streaming of child sexual abuse. Recommendations to government include: publish the interim code of practice proposed by the Online Harms White Paper;  introduce legislation requiring providers of online services and social media platforms to implement more stringent age verification techniques; and require the online industry to pre-screen material before it is uploaded to the internet to prevent access to known indecent images of children.

Read the news story: Inquiry report finds risk of immeasurable harm to children from internet
Read the report: The internet: investigation report (PDF)

Source: CASPAR

Children in care

Source: Department for Education 

Date: 05 December 2019

The Department for Education (DfE) has published statistics on looked-after children in England at national and local authority levels for 2018/19. Figures show that: there were 78,150 looked after children at 31 March 2019, an increase of 4% on 2017/18; 49,570 children were looked after as a result of or because they were at risk of abuse or neglect – the most common reason identified. 

Read the news story: Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019
Read the report: Children looked after in England (including adoption), year ending 31 March 2019 (PDF) 

Children and young people in Wales

Source: Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Date: 10 December 2019

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales (CCFW) has published an evaluation of the Commissioner’s plan for all children and young people 2016-19. The evaluation looked at what the CCFW has done to raise awareness of issues including: mental health, wellbeing and tackling bullying; poverty and social inequalities; play and leisure; safety in the community, school and home; and transitions to adulthood.

Read the report: Evaluation of our plan for all children and young people: 2016-19 (PDF)