Local Offer COVID-19 Guidance
- Accessing healthcare during COVID-19
- Talking to your child about Coronavirus
- Supporting your child’s wellbeing
- Preparing to stay at home
- Accessing carers for my child
- Educating your child at home
- News update: Support for children with complex needs - grants available (21 May 2020)
Many parents and carers will have concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak, particularly anyone who has a child with additional health needs.
Below we have pulled together some key sources of information and suggested some additional things that you may want to think about.
There are lots of helpful resources to support you and your child but the information can feel overwhelming. We have created a directory of resources, clearly showing what they are and who they are for. We have also provided links to some of the key resources as well as some additional things you may want to think about:
- Haringey Resource Mapping for Early Years Schools and Colleges (PDF, 7MB)
- Educational Psychology Service Traumatic Incident Guidance for Schools (PDF, 449KB)
Schools are still contactable and if you are worried about anything you should email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for specific support and advice for your child.
- Contact, the charity for families of disabled children (external link) have put together some useful advice for parents and carers that you can access online
- The latest information can be found in this letter to the SEND Sector from Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families - 9 November 2020 (PDF, 158KB) and the government guidance on vulnerable children (external link)
- The Wellchild charity (external link) has useful guidance aimed at parents and carers of children with underlying medical conditions
- NHS Guidance on COVID-19 - coronavirus (external link)
- If you do need to visit the hospital with your child, the Whittington and North Middlesex Hospitals have lots of useful resources for children with additional needs
- Markfield advice and information services are all still running. For everyone’s safety they are running advice and information services by telephone and email only. Find out how to contact them here: Markfield services information (PDF, 123KB)
If you are the carer for a child with additional needs, you may be understandably anxious about attending hospital or other health setting. However it is really important that you seek medical advice as soon as you would normally do so. Late presentation and delayed treatment can lead to a more severe illness. You can be reassured that all our local hospitals have put in place social distancing measures and have adequate PPE to protect your child.
You can seek medical advice from your GP, NHS 111 or accident emergency department if your child becomes unwell in the same way as you would normally.
- Also see: Whittington Health admission protocols for SEND children in easy read form (external link)
The latest NHS information on what to do if your child shows symptoms of coronavirus can be found on the NHS website (external link).
If you have queries about how to manage any pre-existing medical conditions your child may have, all specialist departments such as those at Great Ormond Street, CAMHS, the children’s continuing care nursing team and the child development team can be contacted as usual if your child is already known to them. Although they may not be able to offer face to face contacts, they can give telephone advice. If your child attends one of the Haringey special schools you can also contact the school nurse for advice during normal working hours.
A range of social emotional mental health support is available to parents/carers/professionals/children and young people in Haringey.
- Kooth (external link): Free and confidential online support for young people 11-18 years and up to 25 years if there are additional needs. For Haringey young people wherever they live.
- Monday to Friday, 12pm -10pm;
- Saturday/Sunday, 6pm - 10pm.
- MHST Telephone Support Line: Open to all Haringey Families.
- Who are we? A team of Mental Health Practitioners. Monday to Friday, 9am - 3pm.
- Who can contact us? Children, young people, parents/carers, school staff.
- How can we help? We’re here to listen and support you with your worries and emotions
- Contact details: call us on 0208 702 6035 or send an email to Behemail@example.com
Good Thinking (external link): London’s digital wellbeing service has pulled together useful advice for families and carers to help manage changes in routine.
If you want to talk to your child about Coronavirus and its impact, you might find it helpful to use a child-friendly guide like this one from Mindheart (external link) that is available in a variety of languages including Turkish, Romanian, French and Polish. There is also an easy-read guide from Mencap (external link).
If you need to talk to your child about why schools have closed and the importance of staying at home and social distancing, there is lots of helpful advice in this booklet from the Haringey Educational Psychology Service (PDF, 270KB).
What's Up with this Coronavirus? (external link) is another useful child-friendly explanation in graphic format. There is also an easy-read guide on social distancing from the Down Syndrome Association (external link).
You can get advice from the National Autistic society guidance and helpline (external link) for parents, young people and staff. Guidance in British Sign Language is available from Signhealth (external link).
This is an uncertain time for all of us and young children can find it particularly difficult to manage their anxieties and keep positive.
This booklet from the Haringey Educational Psychology Service (PDF, 270KB) has lots of links to helpful resources.
Place2Be has a useful guidance page (external link) to help you answer questions from your child about Coronavirus including links to other sources of information like a Newsround item on the topic, and support for family wellbeing.
Young Minds has useful tips for talking to children from their helpline (external links). They also provide a 24/7 messaging service for young people if they are having a mental health crisis: message YM to 85258.
This video by Dr Pooky Knightsmith (external link), also has some good advice for families and teachers during this period.
This Bereavement Guide for Families (PDF, 288KB) from the Haringey Educational Psychology Service gives families information on supporting children following a bereavement.
The Importance of Play and interaction leaflet (PDF, 716KB) from the Haringey Educational Psychology Service provides families with ideas and the benefits of play and interaction.
Other agencies that also provide individual support for children are:
- Childline (external link) - tel: 0800 1111
- Samaritans (external link) - tel: 116 123
- Choices (external link) - tel: 020 8702 3405 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kooth (external link)
You may find it useful to make some additional preparations in case you find you need to self-isolate at home and/or you or your child become ill.
- If your child has ongoing medication consider asking your GP/pharmacy for an additional supply of any repeat prescription to cover for a month or two
- If your child uses nappies or incontinence pads, you should look at whether you can obtain a supply to last for a longer period
- If you don't have a medical plan at home, ensure that your child's latest prescription is ready
- Look at options for getting prescriptions delivered to your home
- Look at what options you might have for childcare if you or your regular carers get sick or need to self-isolate (eg if you normally rely on your child's grandparents for care)
If you are normally the primary carer for your child, it is important to make sure that your alternative care (i.e. partner, family or friends) know in advance any special arrangements for looking after your child if you get sick (and/or have written instructions ready) - you may not be up to explaining all the details if you are ill.
- If your child has regular medication you could include details of when and how to give this medication. A useful medication template which you can adapt as required is available here (external link - Word, 16KB), covering medication, allergies and other care (eg feeding, assistance with toileting etc)
- If your child has an EHCP, ensure that the All About Me section is to hand to help others know about your child and how to support if you're unwell
- If you don't have an All About Me section you could use a communication passport/hospital passport to help staff know your child's likes and dislikes (external link - Word, 1MB)
The Haringey Disabled Children’s team continues to be available to support you with any questions or concerns you may have. Phone them on 020 8489 3671 to speak to a social worker.
The thought of educating your child at home may seem very difficult at first, but you can find lots of advice in the Managing the transition to home schooling document (lPDF, 970KB) on how to establish routines and how to help children access their schoolwork.
You can find some specific advice about home-educating children with visual and hearing impairments below. Families of children who benefit from the use of visuals, can access a free 30 day trial of the Widget App using the code WIDGIT30
- Look - Supporting visually impaired young people to thrive (external link)
- Useful Resources for Deaf Children (PDF, 109KB)
This Supporting the Family guide (PDF, 3MB) has lots of useful guidance as to how to balance your child’s day as well as guidance for good apps and apps which are not so good for parents.
The Education Endowment Fund and Sunday Times have launched an appeal to raise money to support schools at this difficult time. You can make a donation on the Education Endowment Foundation website (external link).
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