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Family Information and Services Hub

Coronavirus / Covid-19 - SEND Information and Resources

We understand that this is a confusing time for everyone, so we have created this page in order to share resources and information which we think will be useful to parents, carers and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The information on these pages is from a number of third party website, but we have verified the information

We will be keeping this information up to date, so please do continue to check for additional resources.

If there is something you think should be included, please let us know by completing our Contact Form.

An FAQ guide has been produced for families, education providers and support services about children with special educational needs, education health and care assessments and education health and care plans. This can be accessed here.

Coronavirus Information for Young People

What is Coronavirus?

The Government has released some helpful guidance about what coronavirus is in an easyread format. This can be found here: What is Coronavirus? (Easy-read)

Staying at Home - Social Distancing

The term social distancing is being used a lot when talking about the Government's plans to stop the spread of coronavirus. Helpful documents have been produced to explain why it is important to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives, including FAQs of what you can and can't do.

Looking After Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Government has produced helpful guidance on how you can look after your thoughts, feelings and body during the coronavirus outbreak: Looking after your feelings and your body (Easy-read).

Hampshire's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has also put together a help, support and advice page.

Havant and East Hants Mind have also just launched a new Crisis Line providing immediate access to help, support and advice for young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health.

Further resources to help with this can be found in the resources section below and on the right hand side of this page.

Additional Guidance

Further guidance is available about what to do if you or someone you share your home with has signs of coronavirus and how to protect those most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus.

Coronavirus Information for Parents and Carers

Government Guidance for Parents and Carers

The Government has released guidance for parents and carers regarding the closures of educational settings.

There is also further guidance around provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people.

There is an expectation that vulnerable children and young people will continue to attend educational provision, where it is appropriate for them to do so, and where it is the safest place for them. This particular point emphasised in the guidance:

“The government encourages vulnerable children and young people to attend educational settings unless they have underlying health conditions that put them at severe risk.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, vulnerable children are defined as those who:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked after child
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan whose needs cannot be met safely in the home environment
  • have been assessed as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who are therefore in need of continued education provision. This might include children on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services, adopted children, or those who are young carers, and others at the provider and local authority discretion

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 will attend an early years setting. This is unless their social worker decides they are less at risk at home or in their placement (such as a residential placement), for example, due to underlying health conditions. The setting should follow up on non-attendance with the parent/carer and social worker.

Children with an EHC plan should be risk-assessed by settings in consultation with the local authority and parents/carers. Where the risk assessment determines a child with an EHC plan will be safer at home, it may be more appropriate for them to stay at home. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely be supported at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services.

Where the risk assessment determines a child with an EHC plan will be as safe or safer in an early years setting, it may be more appropriate for them to attend the early years setting. If a child has been determined to be as safe or safer at an early years setting but subsequently does not attend the setting, the setting should follow up with the parent/carer and local authority.”

There is separate guidance outlining the risk assessment process.

FAQs about social distancing have been produced by Central Government. This information has been updated to state that "if you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day - ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional." 

Further details can be read in this news article.

Supporting Children and Young People's Health and Wellbeing

The Government has released helpful guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

This provides detailed information about how different ages may react to the current situation and different support available. It is important to note that a key part of being able to support a young person's mental helath and wellbeing is looking after you own mental health and wellbeing. Government guidance on this is also available.

Hampshire's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has also put together a help, support and advice page.

Medical services are still open, and parents with an ill child should continue to seek advice and support from GPs, 111 etc in a timely manner to prevent illnesses becoming more serious. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has created this poster to help.

The NHS has created guidance for parents regarding shielding children with long term medical conditions

Further resources are available in the resources section.

EHCPs

We have released a statement regarding our plan for SEND services during the Covid-19 outbreak, including EHCP's and the current process for them.

Further to this, an FAQ guide has been produced for families, education providers and support services about children with special educational needs, education health and care assessments and education health and care plans. This can be accessed here.

School Admissions and Appeals

Please read our web page on making an admissions appeal, for further information on how this process will work during the Covid-19 crisis.

This has been informed by the Government guidance on school admission appeals.

Hampshire SENDIASS

Hampshire SENDIASS have been working hard to ensure that their service remains available to families in need over the coming weeks and months. They have produced an infographic to show what to expect from them during the Covid-19 crisis.

They have also pulled together a specific information and resources page.

Hampshire Parent Carer Network

Now, more than ever, a sense of community is so important in order to support eachother. HPCN are fully active and are building an online network for parents to keep connected at this time.

Further details are available on their website, and on their facebook page.

Resources for Young People

Think Ninja

The Think Ninja App is free and available to provide support for those struggling with mental health and emotional wellbeing in this time of uncertainty. 

Think Ninja can help young people in the following ways:

  • Keeping calm when stress levels rise by accessing the Skill Zone for breathing and distraction exercises
  • Helping to address unhelpful thoughts related to Coronavirus in the CBT skills section and ‘My Challenges’ section
  • Boosting their mood with various PowerUps     
  • Connecting via text chat with a 'live' Healios mental health professional, if required, all within the app

It is important to highlight that Think Ninja offers support only and should not be used as a replacement intervention for Mental Health input from NHS CAMHS or Counselling services.

The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store and is available on all Android and Apple IOS smartphones and tablets.  Unfortunately Think Ninja is not available on laptops or PC’s as yet.  Once downloaded you will be asked to enter your postcode.  Think Ninja has already been populated with all Hampshire and Isle of Wight postcodes and is being used by a number of young people in these areas.

Other Resources

The NHS Health for Teens page has resources and information available for you about the current situation, and ways you can make sure you're looking after yourself.

This interactive coronavirus booklet, provides a clear way to help understand the virus.

Resources for Parents

Information and Support Tools

Helping children and young people cope with the information and changes related to the Coronavirus can be a huge challenge. The NHS has created a separate resources page with information and ideas

This interactive coronavirus booklet provides a clear way to explain Coronavirus.

The Government has also created a specific help page with advice and resources for parents and carers with children with SEND.

There are also details of the support available on the County Council's own pages about supporting the vulnerable at this difficult time.

Health and Wellbeing Resources

The NHS Every Mind Matters page has resources to help support your own mental health and wellbeing.

The NHS Change 4 Life page has resources and ideas available to keep active and healthy during the Covid-19 crisis.

Health for Kids has resources available directly for children to access, but also a separate parents page with information available.

ORCHA assesses health apps for the NHS and they have launched a Covid-19 resource page where you can search for the best health and wellbeing apps available.

Berkshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership are creating #Coping guides to help support families, young people and children. Their first publication is entitled "Family life during the lockdown".

Hampshire CAMHS has also created a publication called How to Cope after Covid-19 and the Pandemic, which has many helpful resources.

Home Learning Resources

The Department for Education as provided a list of online education resources for home education.

If you have children at home there's further online materials that parents can access, including:

We also have some home learning activities available in the download section in the right-hand side of this page.

Financial Help

Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, has information available on their webpage to help parents and carers understand the financial support available to them at this time. This includes:

Council for Disabled Children

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has launched two new email inboxes aimed to answer questions, collate resources and share information on Coronavirus and the impact on children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  They are for use by professionals, practitioners, parent carers and families of children and young peoople with SEND.

You can send questions about how Coronavirus will impact on children and young people with SEND as well as questions relating to the impact on families; the eduucation, health, social care sectors; the voluntary and community sector to: CDCquestions@ncb.org.uk

CDC will collate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and share them with the Department for education (DfE) and Ministers as appropriate. Further links can be found in the "External Links" section on the right-hand side of this page.

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