We have created and gathered together useful info and advice to help with your concerns. It’s all here, including the latest government updates, information on benefits, and staying healthy.
From 8th March, the Government have developed a Roadmap out of lockdown in England. For the latest information click here.
Wales is in Alert Level 4 Lockdown across the country, For the latest information click here.
Read our new lockdown guide 2021: Answers to your recent questions about concerns due to the recent national lockdown
Contact with parents
As part of the government’s roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown, in England, from 8th March face to face education will resume in schools and colleges.
Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume where necessary to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities. The government are introducing twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils – in addition to regular testing for all teachers – to reduce the chance of the virus spreading in schools.
Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return from 8 March.
For full details of the coronavirus guidance and schools in England, please click here.
In Wales there has been a phased return to schools and colleges since 22nd February 2021. For full details of the coronavirus guidance and schools in Wales, please click here.
Back to school after lockdown – tips from an NHS Psychologist. You can access this fantastic resource here
Information from our advice team about free school meals and lunch for children who are not attending school because of closures due to coronavirus
Special Educational Needs – SEN Show Series. You can access free online webinars on various subjects including, ‘Access, anxiety and remote learning’. The focus of the webinars will change each month so do check in regularly.
Support with technology and communications: Share this government information with your school to help get laptops, support with accessing the internet and other technology-related support for children who cannot attend school due to coronavirus.
Free school meal offers in England during school holidays a list of places that may be offering free meals. Please check with each (last updated October 2020).
Government guidance (England): Check the government’s website for their latest guidance on coronavirus.
Government guidance (Wales): Check the government’s website for their latest guidance on coronavirus.
Government guidance: for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
Government guidance on local restrictions: Check the government’s website for guidance on local restrictions.
For kinship carers who have children’s services involvement: Advice from us based on the latest government guidance
- Age UK have a whole section on their website with information about staying healthy, helping others and updates on coronavirus
- Cafcass have a section with specific coronavirus advice, including information about postponed court cases and contact centres
Adoption Support Fund
The Department for Education have sent us this update about the Adoption Support Fund:
Benefits and finances
- We have a lot of helpful information about what benefits and other financial support you might be entitled to on our website here.
- Turn2Us have lots of useful information about benefits and coronavirus
- Our advice team have key information for those of you who are worried about your fuel bills or topping up your pre payment cards/keys
- The Government has confirmed a £500 million Hardship Fund which will be available to local authorities In England to provide Council Tax relief for 2020/21 bills.
Children and families
- Have a look at this book you can download as a PDF to help children understand coronavirus.
- Here’s another book for children. This one is illustrated by the illustrator of the Gruffalo and it’s packed full of useful information.
- Here’s some advice from Sam Cartwright-Hatton, professor of clinical child psychology at the University of Sussex about helping children cope with being at home.
- A useful article from the Child Mind Institute about talking to children about coronavirus.
- Resources from the Childhood Bereavement Network to help bereaved young people to reach out for support. Get advice and download their useful resource cards.
Keeping children and the whole family occupied
- Free audio books: Audible has released lots of audio books for free for children
- New TV shows: Amazon has released lots of free shows for children
- Wildlife cameras: Here’s a suggestion of 12 free wildlife webcams you can watch at home, including farms and zoos
- Virtual museum tours: Lots of museums have virtual tours that everyone can enjoy exploring
- Tour America’s national parks: Google Earth have created virtual tours of some of America’s greatest national parks
- Kids news: First News is an independent children’s newspaper for 7-14 year olds. They are giving away their content for free while schools are closed. Every week they will put the latest issue on their website for anyone to download, so kids still have something at home to keep them up to date and informed.
- Online exercises and workouts: Online PE classes, home workouts for seniors, 5 minute move and lots more from Joe Wicks on his YouTube channel
- Opera and theatre: The Royal Opera House are launching a new programme of free, online performances that you can watch at home
- Free art: Printable and free to share artwork and signs to brighten up video calls, social media posts and the walls.
- All ages: BBC Bitesize are now bringing you daily content to help with education at home
- GSCE and A Levels: Seneca have lots of free courses to help young people stay up to speed with their courses
- Learn to code: Tynker have free access to their premium online coding courses during school closures. Suitable for ages 5+
- Maths classes: Keep the kids up to speed with their maths with this website full of maths games
- National Housing Federation released a statement saying the no housing associations should evict tenants because of coronavirus.
- The Government has announced a complete ban on evictions and additional protection for renters
During these challenging times, we understand that many people are concerned about their rights regarding their jobs, including; what pay they are entitled to, what will happen if they cannot go to work, what if their pay is reduced, etc. Our advice team have put together this information which should answer some of these questions.
- Find out about the different apps: WebWise has information about all the social media apps on their website, including an introduction to Whatsapp and Facebook
- Set up a WhatsApp group: One of the most popular apps for messaging and calling, WhatsApp is easy to use and great for staying connected
- Set up a Facebook group: Facebook’s help centre has all the instructions you need for setting up a group, along with help for anything else you might need
- Other apps: You might want to try other ways of staying connected. Some of the more popular at the moment include Skype, Houseparty and Zoom
- Tips for using video chats with children: A useful guide to help make the most of video calls with children
- A really useful resource titled Guidance for Better Mental Health. You will find many useful tips and advice on mental health and well-being including:
- Effects on Mental Health
- Things to Remember
- Precautionary Measures
- Plan and Prepare
- Evolving Guidelines
- Anxiety Mimicking Coronavirus
- Coronavirus, OCD & Anxiety
- Mental Health Resources
- Mental Wellbeing
- Substance Abuse
- Young people who have experienced developmental trauma and attachment disruption may be struggling during this period. See our new advice pages with resources that may help you to support them through this.
- The British Psychological Society has created a report on supporting care-experienced children and young people during the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath.
- The campaign to end loneliness
arekeeping their website up to date with ideas on staying connected for those who are in self-isolation, quarantine or finding social distancing difficult.
havesome good advice for anyone who is feeling a bit anxious about coronavirus.
- Explore a useful step-by-step guide on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is hosted by rehab4addiction, but the information is useful for all. Find out more here.
- The Connection Coalition has produced a useful document on what to say to someone who is grieving and ways to cope with grief and anxiety.
- Special Educational Needs – SEN Show Series. You can access free online webinars on various subjects including, ‘Supporting bereaved children’. The focus of the webinars will change each month so do check in regularly.