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.

Read more
Make an Enquiry

COVID-19: BASW urges PPE and priority testing for social workers

Social workers should be included in the list of priority groups for coronavirus testing, BASW has urged.

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, BASW chief executive Ruth Allen and chair Geraldine Nosowska highlighted that many social work teams are depleted because colleagues need to self-isolate. Vulnerable service users also need assurance that their social workers can visit them in their home without the risk of infection.

“Including social workers in the list for priority testing is thus essential for the provision of on-going services,” the letter continued.

The letter came after it was reported that a social worker employee at Southwark Council in London had died after contracting the coronavirus.

BASW, which represents over 21,000 members, said they had received more than 1,500 responses about the challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the most pressing concern being the issue of safety.

The letter outlined that social workers, alongside colleagues in health and residential care, need government guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) urgently. BASW acknowledged that while some social work can be done via phone and teleconferencing, seeing in people in their homes is central to the social work task.

Social workers can see up to a dozen or more service users a day and currently there is a lack of even basic hand sanitiser, leaving social workers concerned for service user’s and their own safety. Measures are being applied unevenly across different local authorities and workplaces and there is a need for clearer guidance that can be applied uniformly. There is also an urgent need for essential guidance on safety for home visits during the pandemic.

Indeed, in a recent interview with WillisPalmer, frontline social worker Rita Long said that there was a lack of any safety equipment or basic hand sanitiser in the workplace and, while the authority encouraged staff to clean down their work stations at the end of each day, no cleaning materials had been provided to enable them to do this.

BASW also called for additional support to vulnerable groups. While many public health messages need to be aimed at the majority, BASW’s concern is also with the minorities. The letter explained that victims of domestic abuse may be trapped with their abuser, there may be undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees whose first language is not English and may therefore miss crucial health guidance, the street homeless who may be unable to self- isolate. While a number of initiatives are already underway, such as the instruction to local authorities to house all street homeless by last weekend, which are welcome, the government should “redouble efforts with reaching out to these groups”.

“For social workers to do their work efficiently and compassionately they must be safe, we therefore look forward to receiving guidance on PPE, followed by the necessary equipment,” the letter concluded.

The letter to the prime minister is here.

Make an ENquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work and psychological services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

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

£7m funding for charities supporting children affected by COVID-19 and lockdown measures

Vulnerable children and families affected by COVID-19 and the measures put in place to stop its spread will benefit from support offered by a coalition of charities under a new ‘See, Hear, Respond’ Department for Education programme.

The government has provided £7m of funding to launch the service which will be led by the charity Barnardo’s [...]

Read Full Story

Are you a foodie or a fitness fanatic? The groups emerging during lockdown

While it is inevitable that most of us have probably endured our fair share of wobbles during lockdown, given the fact we have never experienced anything like this before, people have naturally had to adapt their mindsets to navigate their way through social isolation.

I’ve noticed a number of ‘groups’ emerging.

The fitness fanatics

Walking, jogging, running – [...]

Read Full Story

Blog: Abuse during lockdown

WillisPalmer Chief Executive Mark Willis says all professionals working with children need to be ultra vigilant in looking for signs of abuse as we ease out of lockdown.

Children’s services professionals need to be vigilant for signs of emotional, physical and sexual abuse in young people as children return to primary school following lockdown, the chief [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram