Dr Lalith Wijedoru is a Consultant Paediatrician working within the Emergency Department at Alder Hey Children’s hospital in Liverpool. One of his roles is to liaise closely with the Rainbow Centre, a department within the hospital dedicated to the safe-guarding of children.
Lockdown and social distancing has come with challenges in the identification and support of vulnerable and high risk children and families. The four agencies that have responsibilities for the safe-guarding of children are: Health, Education, Social Care/Social Services and Police. All of these agencies have had reduced contact with families due to guidance put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This challenge requires a level of discernment, sensitivity and a non-sensationalised approach in responding to the question of how we make vulnerable children visible during lockdowns. You will need to think imaginatively about an integrated, multi-agency approach to illuminate children at risk during this time. Take into consideration that there is a distinct possibility of limited interaction between these agencies and the added complications this may present. You may wish to address this on a local, regional or national level.