Sharpening Our Safeguarding Focus: We’re all in this together?
“Are we there yet ?” … the voice of a young child on their way to a long-anticipated treat …. usually accompanied with the attendant excitement.
For us though, the focus is ‘how much more lockdown’, how much longer do we need to stick this out?
The pressure is really beginning to show. For us as Practitioners, Designated Lead Persons and Senior Leaders and for the vulnerable families that we support.
By now most of us know family members that have been unwell with COVID-19, and some in our families and networks have died. Emotional health is fragile for many people.
On the other hand, some families are settling into this not so new way of living, finding patterns for managing, roles are becoming fairly clearly delineated and life for some has slowed.
For some families though, the atmosphere is fraught with conflict, deep levels of control are in place and children are locked in patterns of fear, forced compliance and in free-fall into withdrawal and despair.
In the Children’s Commissioner’s Report, ‘We’re all in this together?’ published on 25th April 2020, there is a reference to some worrying statistics and some useful tools such as:
- Only 1 in 20 of the vulnerable children who were offered places in school, or, their setting, are actually attending,
- Recognition of how quickly the ‘just about coping’ family’s needs might escalate to ‘crisis’ in the lockdown context. Included of course are those families living in over-crowded, cramped conditions (26% in London Borough of Newham), and hugely increased anxiety for parents and children with emotional/mental health needs etc.
- Access to Local Area Profiles to help both the Central Government and local services to target specific support
- Providing real ‘food for thought’ on the inter-generational patterns of abuse and neglect. Prompting an urgent response by both government and ALL children’s services to really CONNECT with children and their families right now and upon their return to schools, early years settings, Children’s Centres or other services.
This is urgent!
We need to find a way through. These are exactly the concerns that we’re discussing with Designated Lead Persons, Learning Mentors, Family Support Managers and many, many Practitioners during our free Support and Advice sessions. Please feel free to come to join us.
It really is time to:
- Pause and read The Children’s Commissioners Office Report ‘We’re all in this together ?’
- Cross-reference your own school or setting experience with the Local Area Profiles and plan accordingly
- Mobilise your Senior Leadership Team, Governors, Trustees and Proprietors in looking at ‘the right now’, the immediate future and being properly prepared for the phased re-opening of services – i.e. having emotionally responsive services in place for children, parents and practitioners
Equally, you might find the Workshops that I have designed helpful to you. They are intended as a practical tool to help support a deeper insight into how we communicate as men and as women and through these reflections make a tailored approach that increases the likelihood of a deeper connection.
Find out more here: