16/03/2020
The safety of children, foster carers and staff members is our primary concern. These procedures aim to provide as much reassurance as possible at this stage and for children to know that that will be able to remain living with us and reduce any feelings of being unsettled. This desire is also shared by the Local Authorities we are working with. Our aim is to continue to provide the services we do to our children and the adults in our Group, we are committed and expect not to change what we are providing, just change the manner in which we are providing some of our services.

The guidance from the government is rapidly changing and, to date there has been no clear guidance issued specific to all of our services. The DfE are suggesting that that will be issuing details of any amendments to regulations in the near future but to date there are no amendments to the regulatory expectations. The local authorities responsible for our children have different views, produce different information and their guidance to us is not aligned with each other and therefore possible confusion and delay could occur.

It is vitally important that we take robust and immediate action as we are a front line service that will be required to continue to deliver our service, care for our children be it in foster homes, children’s homes or the schools throughout this challenging time. Therefore in the absence of any clear direction I am opting to take positive and decisive action by issuing these compulsory procedures that aim to keep our children, our adults and our services as safe as possible. The primary purpose of these procedures are to limit the unnecessary exposure that any adult, young person or child has and to significantly reduce the number of people visiting any home, school and offices.

These procedures will go alongside all of the government advice including what to do if you feel you have symptoms, the Coronavirus policy issued to you by Enhanced Children’s Services remains valid so please ensure you are familiar and following this policy.

19/03/2020
I wanted to start by saying a huge thank you to all of you that are working so hard and showing such levels of commitment during this very strange and exceptionally busy time. I am aware that this is unsettling for us all, there is so much we don’t know, things are changing every day, and sometimes more than once during a single day. We are continuing to try to make the best decision we can based on all of the guidance issued from the government and where this isn’t available we are keeping the safety and welfare of our children and adults central to the decisions made.

Our service requires that working from home is not an option for us in any area of the Enhanced Children’s Services Group due to our responsibilities to our children. There are a small number of team members that are based in the offices in Wiltshire or Devon where we have changed the working conditions to manage the risk in the workplace. Our working practices in the offices are;

• adopting the social distancing measures detailed by the government social distancing guidance
• individual work areas for each person
• no movement between floors
• no visitors permitted in the building other than the dedicated visitor area and will follow the strict hygiene/hand washing NHS guidance
• no use of public transport necessary
• no group meetings
• restricted visits to homes, allocated SMT to specific homes/schools
• virtual attendance at all meetings
• changes to financial systems to allow for remote access to money

25/03/2020
Firstly and most importantly I am happy to report that there are no concerns or reports of positive Covid-19 cases in any part of the Group with adults or children. The numbers of self isolation continue to be low and mainly through family members having symptoms or choosing to self isolate with no symptoms. We look forward to welcoming back those that initially self isolated over the next few days and are very relieved their initial symptoms did not develop into Covid-19. I wanted to thank those team members that have given extra time, input and taken extra responsibilities in covering where colleagues have not been working, I know this has placed extra pressure on you and I am very grateful for your support and hard work.

02/04/2020
Firstly and most importantly I am happy to continue to report that there are no concerns or reports of positive Covid-19 cases in any part of the Group with adults or children. The numbers of those self isolating are lower than last week and we are pleased many of those that self isolated a few weeks ago are returning to work this week.

I am blown away by the commitment, resilience and creativity demonstrated by all adults in our Group, our foster families, our residential teams, our education teams and our BST all who continue to go that extra mile for our children and each other. I am delighted to share with you today just a few examples of the huge amount of work that is going on adopting not only the ‘business as normal’ attitude but also the ‘let’s strive to be the best’. I sincerely thank you.

09/04/2020
Another week has passed since my last circular and I am delighted to see every Service not only managing but adopting the ‘business as normal’ approach in all that we do. For the past two Thursdays I have joined standing outside my home applauding those that work, not only in the NHS, but carers and those ‘classed as ‘front line services’.. you all. I join this and think of you all and once again extend my sincere thanks to you.

I’m so pleased that this week we continue to have no cases of Covid-19 in the Group and only one instance of those needing to self isolate. Thank you to all those that are following the Stay at Home guidance in and out of work and for those adopting social distancing measures in the offices so that we are able to keep everyone as safe as possible. I know this is difficult and that our children are demonstrating fantastic patience and kindness by helping others stay safe.

We are told that the Government are due to review their current position after the Easter break (Easter Monday) but it is widely anticipated that the Stay at Home requirement will continue for, at least, another three weeks. I am sure you would have received your letter from Downing Street recognising the effort that most are making in adhering to this guidance and imploring this to continue so that we can try to get on top of the virus and return to life without restriction, I have attached the most recent guidance that has been updated for your information. Our current position and advice remains, Stay at Home.

17/04/2020
I hope you all managed to have a lovely Easter weekend, I have seen some inspiring photos of family time across all of our services that show fabulous quality time is being spent in your homes, out of this difficult situation are some lovely moments and many memories being made which will remain forever.

We have had another great week in the Enhanced Children’s Services Group with everyone working together to do the best we can in the current situation. We have had only two people self isolating this week and I am pleased to report that we have had no positive Covid-19 cases or concerns about adults or children.

The Government’s news last night has confirmed that there is to be no lifting the lockdown for ‘at least’ another three weeks. The government have detailed the five principles that need to be evident to give confidence to start to consider relaxing the rules, guidance and expectations to keep everyone safe. The advice remains to please Stay At Home

24/04/2020
For the Enhanced Children’s Services Group we have had another fantastic week. There have been no new cases where people have had to self isolate in any of the services this week and, thankfully we continue to have no positive Covid-19 cases, this is fantastic and shows that each of you are working hard to follow the Stay at Home guidance, the social distancing measures and the hand washing procedures, thank you! Whilst there is much discussion about how and when we will exit this period of ‘lockdown’ measures the governments’ advice has not changed, it firmly remains Stay At Home, leaving only for essential work, travel, food and medical reasons.

01/05/2020
This week has been another great week across the Group, although there have been a few challenges the work with our children that all are continuing to achieve is just fantastic, thank you. I am delighted to report that the numbers of those self isolating are still very low, we have had 2 only this week and we have had no positive Covid-19 reports. Please remember to pass ANY information or concerns that you may have to the CTG as soon as possible (in and out of hours) so that we can work together to ensure appropriate action plans are in place at the earliest opportunity.

07/05/2020
I hope you have had a good week, we have had another great week across the Group with only 2 people self isolating, there have been no concerns about children or thankfully, no positive Covid-19 cases. This, I’m sure this is due to you all working hard to maintain the guidelines to Stay and Home and social distancing. I am truly grateful for all your efforts and patience in helping everyone stay safe.

26/05/2020
I hope that you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend and were able to find a way to enjoy the fabulous weather safely? It has been a busy few weeks trying to meet the demands of the government in moving forward in managing Covid-19.
I am so pleased that we appear to be ‘on top’ of it at the moment in the Enhanced Children’s Services Group, this last week there has only been only one case of a person self isolating, but got negative results back with 72 hours and was able to return to work. The testing scheme has been working well for us and I am aware, it also provides much needed relief to those that may display symptoms. We continue to have no cases of Covid-19 in our Group. Thank you for all your efforts you are making with this, I believe this is making a difference to how we are doing.
Current Government Expectation for Covid – 19
It seems like things are starting to move forward over the last week or so and the sunny weather has seen a huge amount of people going out and about. It is really important that we remember that the current advice is “Stay Alert and Safe Social Distancing’