Fosterline Is With You Every Step Of The Way
DfE coronavirus helpline
Telephone: 0800 046 8687
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
In these unprecedented times there are lots of messages being circulated but the main one we want to express is that, We’re Still With You Every Step Of The Way. Fosterline’s helpline service is still running and we’re still as eager as ever to help you with your concerns!
We have collated the below information to keep you up to date with the information we believe is relevant to you during the Coronavirus outbreak.
We want to remind you that we are here to support you.
NHS Guidance & Guidance from an NHS Nurse about Coronavirus
With all the uncertainty around the current situation, regarding Coronavirus, we thought this information would be beneficial to you all, shared with us by an NHS nurse.
Find out more here >
Coronavirus Legislation and Guidance
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, governments across the UK have made changes to regulations and issued new guidance which affects local authorities and fostering services. Each UK country has its own regulations and guidance, which change rapidly as the government moves to ease lockdown and we will continue to update this page as changes occur.
For more information about the rules in your region see below:
What am I allowed to do across the UK at the moment?
Exact rules may vary between nations and – in Scotland – between areas:
- Pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants are open
- Holiday accommodation has reopened
- Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open
- Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries, can open
- Leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools can open
- Outdoor contact sports are allowed
- Travel around the UK is allowed, and some international travel can resume (in line with the traffic light system)
- Care home residents can receive visitors
- Wedding receptions and funeral wakes can take place
- Some outdoor events – including concerts and sports fixtures – can take place in front of an audience
Who can I meet at the moment?
Rules vary for each UK nation:
- In England, groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors and six people or two households can meet indoors (and stay overnight)
For more information about the rules in your region see below:
Coronavirus: guidance for children’s social care services in England
The Department for Education (DfE) has updated guidance for children’s social care in England to reflect restrictions following the National lockdown: stay at home guidance which came into force on 5 January 2021. Areas covered by the updated guidance include: vulnerable children and young people’s attendance at educational settings, risk assessments, alternative provision, respite care and Ofsted inspections.
Updated Guidance for Children’s Social Care Services
The regulations that have provided flexibility around virtual visits, health assessments for approvals of adopters and foster carers, and minimum frequency of Ofsted inspections during the pandemic, expired on Thursday 30 September. From Friday 1 October 2021 these regulatory flexibilities are no longer available. The regulations were always intended for use only when necessary and only in response to COVID-19 and, as we have moved into recovery, local authorities’ need to deploy these flexibilities should have lessened. Our guidance will be revised to reflect these changes and published on Monday 4 October.
The temporary regulations included a suspension of the minimum frequency of inspections for children’s social care provision. Following a public consultation The Childcare (Childminder Agencies) (Registration, Inspection and Supply and Disclosure of Information) and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Fees and Frequency of Inspections) (Children’s Homes etc.) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 came into force on 1 October 2021. These require Ofsted to meet the minimum frequency of inspections “so far as reasonably practicable” between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022 and set out a different frequency of minimum inspections for certain settings for future inspection years.
All documents relating to COVID-19 guidance for children’s social care services, including the updated list of Amendments from 24 September 2020 to existing regulations, are on the Gov.uk website.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 includes new laws that affect foster care to help to slow the spread of the virus. Read the legislation
- advises on flexibilities in delivering statutory duties, and the principles they should apply, to manage any increased risks to vulnerable children as a result of COVID-19;
- acknowledges there needs to be flexibility under statutory duties;
- offers key principles to guide thinking such as being child-centred, risk-based, and collaborative; and
- sets expectations that risk assessment of every child, and identifying those most at risk will be important and that vulnerable children are expected to attend school
The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 were introduced on 24th April and have significant implications for family placement work in England. CoramBAAF have produced a summary of the changes, and the full regulations can be found here.
The Department for Education has provided some general practice guidance for local authorities on children’s social care that includes a section that is specific to fostering.
The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory have provided guidance on managing family contact during the coronavirus crisis.
National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) has issued an update on how Child Contact Centres are operating during the Coronavirus crisis.
Guidance for Care Leavers: The Department for Education, along with other government departments, has produced a series of guidance documents and factsheets to support young care leavers (aged 16 to 25) during the pandemic. Click on the links below to download.
- COVID-19 factsheet for care leavers that are expecting or are lone parents
- COVID-19 housing factsheet
- Guidance on how to stay safe and have positive health and emotional well-being
- Guidance for care leavers whose employers have stopped trading due to COVID-19
- Guidance for care leavers on universal credit during the pandemic
- Guidance for gig economy and zero hours workers during COVID-19