WillisPalmer is delighted to announce that we are set to provide free Personal Protective Equipment for all our contracted professionals.
WillisPalmer has long been raising concerns about the impact of lockdown on vulnerable children, fearing lockdown measures could be more detrimental to vulnerable children than the virus itself.
With a massive hike in the number of people contacting Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline and its website and the pressures of lockdown likely to exacerbate the ‘toxic trio’ of mental ill health, substance and domestic abuse, children are increasingly at risk of witnessing domestic abuse.
Couple that with very few children attending school – just 5 per cent of vulnerable children are currently attending school despite being eligible for a placement – and therefore a lack of referrals to children’s services departments from schools who are their main source of referrals, there are many children living in dangerous situations experiencing or at risk of neglect and abuse.
Furthermore, the secondary legislation introduced by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is potentially leaving vulnerable children in placements without access to their social worker.
Chief Executive of WillisPalmer Mark Willis said “While over-stretched skeletal social work teams have been told to prioritise cases, there is a real danger that many vulnerable children are slipping through the net, basically locked up with their abuser and with no outlet or the refuge of school.”
“WillisPalmer is extremely concerned that, as domestic abuse is rising and mental health problems are being exacerbated under the pressure of lockdown measures, that a child tragedy is on the horizon.”
“That is why we are announcing that WillisPalmer will be providing free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all of our contracted professionals to enable them to work with vulnerable families with safety precautions in place.”
The protective clothing - which includes face masks, latex gloves and aprons - has been ordered and will be with us imminently. The PPE will be available for all WillisPalmer professionals and can be used on public transport, entering premises or, if required, during visits to vulnerable families. The free PPE is disposable and so multiple supplies will be issued to keep our professionals going throughout the duration of their assessment, aiming to provide our professionals with some confidence at work as we ease out of lockdown at some point,” added Mark Willis.
The PPE should be with WillisPalmer within days and we will inform our contractors when they are ready to be distributed. Please contact the office if you need any support or if you have any questions.