Emergency operational procedures

How children's social care services are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19 guidance

This document sets out the arrangements for delivering ‘core’ children’s social care services to children and families where we have a statutory legal duty under the Children Acts and associated legislation.

View Wandsworth Childrens Social Care COVID-19 Operational Guidance

About this guidance

The COVID-19 emergency and lockdown requires citizens to only leave their home for exceptional reasons below:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only when this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home

The vital work conducted by social workers, youth offending officers, personal advisors, early help practitioners and business support staff, constitutes as the provision of care and help to a vulnerable person, forming part of the exceptions above.

As much of statutory children’s social work intervention requires multi-agency meetings, home visits and direct contact with children, families and professionals we will not, during this lockdown period, be able to meet the existing raft of DfE statutory guidance which underpins statutory children’s social work.

Emergency operational procedures put in place are based on Government guidance for local authorities on children’s social care published on Friday 3 April 2020.

Our guidance sets out how children’s social care will operate during this lockdown period focusing on how we will prioritise the needs of children and young people at highest risk and how we will use technology to maintain contact with our wider cohort of vulnerable children and families. In line with government guidance these difficult and complex decisions will be made in the spirit of the following principles:

  • Child centred - promoting children's best interests
  • Risk-based - prioritising support and resources for children
  • Family focused - harnessing the strengths in families and their communities
  • Evidence informed - ensuring decisions are proportionate and justified
  • Collaborative - working in partnership with parents and children
  • Transparent - providing clarity and maintaining professional curiosity about a child's wellbeing