Covid 19 Frequently Asked Questions

Rainbow Fostering Services Limited continue to follow the National Guidance from the Government and Public Health England. As more information follows, we will update our Business Contingency plan and guidance for staff, foster carers and children during the COVID 19 Outbreak in the UK and across the world.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with:
  • Guidance published by the UK Government on the following webpage https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
  • Guidance from Rainbow Fostering Services Business Contingency plan and information sent to foster carers and local authorities.

Placements

1Will placement finding processes change when seeking placements with Rainbow Fostering Services?

There are currently no plans for placement finding processes to change drastically during the COVID 19 Outbreak.

All our placement/duty team members are set up to work remotely and have all the necessary equipment and resources to continue to operate effectively.

We ask for local authorities to have a child seen or have a consultation by a medical health professional before being placed with a fostering family to ensure that there are no signs of COVID 19.

Rainbow Fostering will not place any child within a household who are self-isolating due to symptoms of COVID 19 or if there are any families who have confirmed COVID 19.

Rainbow Fostering have a robust system in place to monitor any isolation period for fostering households and any households who are deemed to be vulnerable to ensure their safety and others.

Visitors

1Should I close my service to all visitors?

You should restrict visitors to your home along with the Guidance from the Government regarding isolation and the current restrictions in place.

Rainbow fostering supports the pragmatic decision-making, consistent with government advice, on social distancing and infection prevention measures. We also support you to have discussions about whether visits from professionals are essential, can be done in another way, or can be delayed.

We are instructing social workers and local authorities, and other professionals, wherever possible, to consider alternative methods to face to face visits, such as via telephone or Skype. However, any restriction on visitors must not unreasonably restrict access to professionals carrying out statutory or otherwise essential duties, for example social workers or police needing to visit to investigate child protection concerns. If there is a child protection or safeguarding concern, the process will be discussed with you as this may be individual to your situation.

Anyone with coronavirus Covid-19 symptoms (high temperature or a new continuous cough) should not enter the home.

Education

1Should Children Looked After (CLA) be going to school?

The government has published guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision and in relation to vulnerable children and young people:

  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintainingeducational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-onmaintaining-educational-provision
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-onvulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerablechildren-and-young-people
  • In line with the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID 19, the advice is that if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. Schools have been asked to remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend, which includes children who are vulnerable. Vulnerable children are classed as those who have a social worker or an education, health and care (EHC) plan in place.

    It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

    The guidance includes the following key principles: 1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be. 2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them. 3. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

    The guidance states that there is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend school, as long as it is safe for them to do so. In circumstances where a care provider (e.g. foster carer) does not want to send a looked after child to school, reasons for this should be explored with the social worker to help determine what is in the best interests of the child and /or resolve any concerns or difficulties wherever possible.

    If you have any questions about whether your child should or should not be attending school at this time, please speak with your supervising social worker and allocated child social worker.

    If your child(ren) are not attending, please ensure that your daily recordings are reflecting the educational structure and work being completed while they are at home. If there are any additional resources that are needed then contact the child social worker and supervising social worker.

Children and young people with Covid-19

1Will foster carers be expected to provide care to children and young people who are symptomatic?

Yes. Fostering households are considered households for the purposes of the household self-isolation policy. Meaning, the setting should follow national guidance and self-isolate if any resident shows symptoms:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-athome-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Please ensure that you notify the supervising social worker, child social worker of any child or young person who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or is living in a household with other people who are displaying symptoms.

Foster Carers will be expected to continue to care for children and young people who are self-isolating or diagnosed – unless hospital care is required due to serious illness or treatment that can only be provided in a hospital setting.

Foster Carers will be expected to have children return to their care symptomatic children and young people who no longer need to be in hospital

Refusal to comply

1How do we support children and young people who refuse to comply with the self-isolation and stay at home guidelines?

We recognise how challenging it is for us all to adhere to the guidelines, so we understand that some vulnerable young people are finding it incredibly difficult. We recognise that you will already have many strategies and approaches in place to manage behaviour. Where it becomes clear that a young person is not responding to the strategies you are putting in place, we request that you contact the social worker/ personal adviser and supervising social worker as soon as possible.

Rainbow Fostering Services, Youth participation officer has been carrying out virtual work with young people around the reasons we need to remain in the house, which has been effective.

Police have been given powers to enforce stay at home guidance. In situations where all attempts to persuade a young person to comply with this guidance have failed, advice should be sought from your neighbourhood police officer (PCSO).

Staff shortages

1I am worried if staff become ill and unable to support during this time.

At Rainbow Fostering Services we have a large team of social workers, duty team and managers who have combined social care expenses of over 60+ years who can continue support through telephone and video conferencing if you should need this.

Finance

1Will allowances be paid on time?

Due to our robust panning and encrypted symptoms our finance department can continue to work from home therefore not affecting any payments.

Please contact us if there are any concerns or worries that you have over finances.

Please ensure Rainbow Fostering Services are informed of any significant changes your household. For out of hours emergency issues that cannot wait for the next day – Contact the OOH social worker on 07947727591

Aijaz Ahmad (Director),

Afshan Ahmad (Managing Director),

Kim Lambourne Willis (Registered Manager)

Amel Bensmail (Team Manager),

Main office - 020 8427 3355/0330 311 2845

Out of Hours - 07947727591