Supporting Vulnerable Children

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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.

Links/resources:

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/alder-hey-boss-hidden-damage-18444424

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m2061

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding-child-protection/coronavirus#heading-top

https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/covid-19-guiding-principles-safeguarding-partnerships-during-pandemic