COVID19 - Information for Current Carers

UPDATED: 08/06/202

We are aware there has been some easing of government restrictions in relation to the COVID19 pandemic. Although the Government website GOV.UK has not yet issued any new guidance relating social care we will need to keep the situation under constant review.

If you would like to discuss any changes or proposed changes related to your role as a foster carer, please contact your supervising social worker in the first instance.

We are still operating a full duty system and in the event of an urgent issue, please contact the duty team or after office hours the EDT in the usual way.

We appreciate everything you’re doing during this time and thank you for your patience and resilience.

We remain here for you.

The Children's Commissioner has created a useful guide to explain Coronavirus to children. Download it here

We understand in uncertain times, we must stay in regular contact by any method. Therefore, we will be regularly updating this page with advice and information amid the Coronavirus Pandemic for our current carers. If you have any questions you would like answered during this time, please email us at fostering@newcastle.gov.uk

We have some advice for those who may be struggling with children who have been traumatised. Please download this here

1. Schools - We are not advising that children in care must go to school, we are only encouraging it. If the carer and child (where they are able to give their views) feels that it is a better option to stay off during this period, then this is fine.

The Virtual School will be making weekly calls to carers during this time to check how children are engaging with the education they have offered. They are planning on developing their offer as the weeks progress and will keep in contact to support you during this time.

2. Payments - All payments will be made on time in line with the current payment run.

3. Staff - We have a full duty system and Placement Desk operating should carers have any specific requests.  Social work staff will no longer be able to make home visits but will still complete supervisions and offer carers ongoing daily support via telephone, Microsoft Teams and email.

4. Fostering Panels – These panels will become virtual and will continue on a weekly basis to address all the relevant fostering business

5. Family Time (contact) – Following the new guidance from the government last night, we have decided to suspend any direct contact from today (24/03/20).  We should make sure that where possible children and families have access to indirect contact through telephone calls/video calls. This will be under constant review and should the situation change, we will publish an update here. We would like you to use Teams in order to video call. The child's social worker will help you set this up.

6. Emergency Duty Team – this will remain in place 24/7 and you will be able to make contact via the normal telephone number

7. Carers Support Line – This Out of Hours Service (run by carers) remains the same and contact can be made via the normal telephone numbers

8. Additional Placements – If any carer feels they are able to take an additional placement either within or outside of their approval they can contact their SSW and Placements Team so this request can be considered.

9. Additional Meetings – there will be a need for us to all work more smartly in this current period of time, and we will look to increase our use of technology and will keep you fully informed of our plans

10. Shopping for essentials - We understand that shopping has become a very restricted activity and it may be impossible for you to leave a child/ren behind when you go out to buy your essentials. We are also aware that some of you have already been challenged in stores. We have created a letter explaining that you are a foster carer and permitting you to shop with your children where this is unavoidable. Please contact your social worker for a copy.

Please check this page regularly for updates, advice, guidance and tips during this time.

We remain here for you.

Jayne Forsdike

Assistant Director for Children’s Services

Virtual School

The virtual school are running a competition open to all school aged children in our city's care. It's week 10 of the competition. Find out more here

A Message from Shine

Shine (Sexual Health In Newcastle) is a community women’s health project based in Newcastle Upon Tyne offering support and services for women 16 and over.”

Shine Services during Covid-19
During to the Coronavirus outbreak Shine are unable to see people face to face. We have adapted our services to still offer support either by telephone or by email, we are also offering self HIV/STI testing kits by post/ or delivering to your door upon request. The kit will come through the post in discreet packaging.

Contact us on 0191 2772050/ shine@newcastle.gov.uk or find us on facebook under Shine Newcastle.

Info for Carers and Guardians from the RCPCH

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Mind of My Own

We want to help you encourage young people in your care to download and access the Mind of My Own app to help promote well-being and encourage feedback. If you need help downloading or setting up the app, watch this video:

 Activities

Download Previous Days' Activities Here