COVID-19 partnership information

Due to the current health situation we have taken the decision to move all our partnership meetings online.  This decision will be continually reviewed, and we understand that partner agencies will be prioritising critical frontline work.

Below and left is information which you may find useful.

Between 29th September and 1st October, Ofsted carried out a focused visit to Southwark's local authority children's services, looking at the functioning of the social care system during the pandemic. A letter outlining their findings is published here.

The Children's Commissioner has published a report into 'Childhood in the Time of COVID', reflecting on the period from March to September 2020.

Legal Framework

On 25th March the Government passed the Coronavirus Act 2020. The provisions in the Act will have implications for the work of many of our partner agencies. Information for local authority staff regarding Care Act easements under the Coronavirus Act can be found here. Information regarding potential changes affecting those with disabilities can be found here.

Guidance for the partnership regarding child safeguarding practice reviews can be found in the attached document.

Children's Social Care

Child protection is our highest priority. The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) will continue to operate.

We understand there are many children and families who have high needs where there are not child protection concerns. We will continue to have these families in mind and do what we can to offer them the support and help they need when we are able to. The council has a webpage that you may find useful with details of support including a hardship fund for emergency support. The telephone number for the fund is 0207 525 2434


The NSPCC have produced a briefing and FAQs about schools and the coronavirus. The DfE have published guidance on maintaining social distancing in education settings that are providing care to vulnerable children and the children of key workers. The National Education Union have published a range of advice and guidance for education professionals.

More information about returning to school in September is available on Southwark council's website, including a leaflet for concerned parents.

Talking to children about Coronavirus

The NSPCC website includes useful information for parents, carers and others about how to talk to children who are worried about coronavirus. The Children's Commissioner has also put together a guide to coronavirus for children.

We know that this can be a stressful time. The Children's Society website has some useful advice on self-isolating and dealing with conflict at home, which can be found here.

Modern Slavery, CCE, CSE

Victims may be particularly isolated and hidden at this time. The Home Office has produced guidance on the support available. The Children's Commissioner has produced a digital safety and wellbeing kit for parents and children, as children and young people are likely to be socialising online more.


BMA guidance for doctors on ethical issues likely to arise during this time can be found here. The GMC have a useful FAQs page. Information about how to refer patients to the new NHS volunteers service can be found here.

Mental Health

SLAM have set up a 'phone first' assessment service for those who need urgent mental health care. Those who need support should call the trust's mental health support line on 0800 731 2864. See here for more information.

Families Under Pressure is an initiative to help parents during the lockdown. It is a series of eight short films designed to offer parenting tips, along with other resources on the website to support parents and carers.

Domestic Abuse Services

Solace can be contacted on 020 7593 1290. A flyer is available to download here. The core IDVA/ISVA service will offer remote-access support to existing clients, and will accept new referrals. IRIS workers will continue to support service users and receive referrals, but are unable to do any training at present. The Sanctuary scheme continues to operate. DVPP and counselling have moved to tele/Skype conferencing. Children's therapy and groups have been suspended. Referrals to the perpetrator programme should be sent directly to

Victims and Witnesses

This can be a particularly difficult time for victims and witnesses. The London Victim and Witness Service can be contacted on 0808 1689 291from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, and 9am-5pm on Saturdays. Outside of these hours Victim Support can be contacted on 0808 1689 111.

Healthy Young People (HYP)- substance misuse and sexual health services for young people

HYP will be providing telephone consultations, with face-to-face appointments only if required following a telephone consultation. They are still accepting referrals as normal. More information and advice for anyone concerned about access to services during this time can be found on their website.

Advice for volunteers

This video contains useful safeguarding messages for volunteers. Remember, volunteers can access free online safeguarding training from us- click here for more details of how to register. Community Southwark have pulled together a helpful guide for mutual aid groups, including information about safeguarding. Information about DBS checks for volunteers can be found here.

Care Homes, supported living and home care

Government guidance for local authorities, CCGs and registered providers can be found here.

Coronavirus-related scams

The police report that fraudsters may be taking advantage of vulnerable people during this time of uncertainty. For more information and advice visit the Southwark Council website. Information for people wanting to volunteer in Southwark can be found here. Advice and information about support for civil society organisations in London can be found on the London Assembly website.

Public Health England campaign information

PHE have produced some information for the general public- the campaign materials can be accessed here: