COVID-19 Guidance from WillisPalmer

Whilst the outbreak of Covid-19 is likely to cause some disruption to WillisPalmer services in the short-term, we are issuing guidance outlining our plans to minimise the impact of the virus.

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Blog: Further evidence emerges of massive hike in child protection referrals in autumn

By Mark Willis, Chief Executive of WillisPalmer

It comes as no surprise that a report into how local authorities have coped with COVID-19 has revealed that respondents are concerned about a massive spike in referrals once children return to school .

WillisPalmer has been warning for months about the detrimental effect that a lengthy lockdown [...]

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Stress levels high in social work before COVID-19 pandemic

Stress levels in social workers were already high before the outbreak of COVID-19, research has found.

A Department for Education commissioned longitudinal study tracking the careers of local authority child and family social workers in England over five years found that one-quarter social workers who reported they were not stressed by their job at Wave 1 [...]

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Foster children need tailored transitions back to education

There should be tailored transition arrangements for children in foster care when they head back to school, the Fostering Network has warned.

The primary focus of the initial return of foster carers to school should be on students’ mental health and wellbeing, the charity states, after a survey they carried out found that almost eight in [...]

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Government bans ads for junk food before 9pm as part of obesity strategy

Advertisements for junk food will be banned before 9pm in a bid to tackle child obesity as part of the government’s wider obesity strategy.

There will be a ban on TV and online adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt before 9pm when children are most likely to see them to help improve the [...]

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High Court to consider judicial review over care legislation

The High Court will this week consider a judicial review against The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 which were introduced on 24 April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The judicial was brought against the Department for Education by the children’s rights charity Article 39 on grounds including that they are contrary to [...]

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How local authorities have managed during COVID-19

Report outlines how local authorities have managed during the pandemic, challenges they have faced, lessons they’ve learned and fears for a spike in referrals post lockdown

Children’s services departments received fewer referrals requiring a children’s social care response in the weeks immediately following the introduction of lockdown measures, although they increased as time in lockdown went [...]

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Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Children locked up in YOIs for 22 hours a day for four months during COVID-19 pandemic


Most children in Young Offender Institutions were still locked up for 22 hours a day following four months of COVID-19 restrictions, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.

Following the second young offender institutions short scrutiny visit, Peter Clarke said that despite attempts by local management at HYOI Feltham A and HMYOI Werrington to reintroduce education [...]

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Judicial review over amendments to care legislation heard this week


The High Court considered a judicial review this week against The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 which were introduced on 24 April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children’s rights charity Article 39 brought the judicial review saying the legislation made 65 losses or dilutions of safeguards for children in care, and children [...]

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Expert's Corner: Non-recent cases of child abuse in care


ISW Sylvia McKenzie on her work on cases of non-recent child abuse in care

Despite having successfully been running her own independent social work practice for six years following her retirement from local authority work, in 2016 Sylvia McKenzie felt she may have to take a step back from independent social work.

Awaiting a knee replacement operation, [...]

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