Local Offer: SEND coronavirus (COVID-19) information

We are currently receiving a lot of updates relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and coronavirus (COVID-19), from a variety of local and national organisations and services. As these updates relate to a variety of topics, we are concerned that some important messages may be lost in the large number of pages in the structure of the SEND website.

As an interim measure, and until further notice, we will publish all updates relating to COVID-19 on this page to act as a 'one stop shop'

Parents and Carers

During the current situation the SEND Service (0-25) teams (including specialist teachers, specialist practitioners and educational psychologists) will not be able to work directly with children in the usual way.

Our teams are continuing to attend virtual meetings for Early Support and to agree work for families, schools and settings that we will deliver when we are able to.

Our early years groups have paused for the moment, but our staff are contacting families who attended groups by phone on a regular basis.

We are working on the creation of a SEND helpline for parents and will publish this information as soon as we can.

Mainstream primary, secondary and special schools

Our Link Educational psychologists and specialist teachers continue to be available by email to schools and settings. Although we are not currently able to provide direct consultation observation and assessment in schools. We are still providing virtual training and consultation for schools. Schools with concerns regarding vulnerable pupils are advised to liaise with SEND team leaders regarding support.

Support for children and young people 0-25yrs who are D/deaf and/or have a visual impairment

Dear Families,

I would just like to reassure you that for those of you who would like it, support will continue to be available from the Sensory Support Team for you and your child/young person and their school/setting.

Wherever possible and to help minimise the risk of transmission, support will be provided by virtual means however, in person visits have resumed. Members of staff regularly take Lateral Flow Tests and complete risk assessments before visits. We will continue to use face masks, hand gels, clean all equipment between use and will endeavour to keep a safe distance. We would appreciate you ensuring that rooms are well ventilated, windows and doors remain open, all surfaces are cleaned and your use of masks to help protect us all. If a member of staff tests positive for Covid the families, schools and settings they have visited will be informed.

As the situation develops we will of course keep you informed and will continue to provide our now half termly newsletter.

If you have any queries or questions or just need to hear a different voice please feel free to drop me a line. Wishing you and yours health and happiness.

Sibel

Tel: 07880 053496
Email /skype: sibel.djemal@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Useful activities, information and resources

We continue to have some changes in place in how we provide support and services. Our workers are in regular contact with children, young people and families who receive support from us about what this means for them.  Find out more on the Disability Social Care 0 – 25 Coronavirus information webpage for updates on our services.

If your child or family member receives support through one of the Disability Social Care Teams already you can contact them in the usual way:

  • Disabled Children’s Referral and Access Team - 01480 372767
  • Disabled Children’s Social Work Team, Fenland - 01354 750332
  • Disabled Children’s Social Work Team, Huntingdon - 01480 376222
  • Disabled Children’s Social Work Team, Cambridge - 01223 729128
  • Young Adults Team - 01480 376245

For all new social care referrals please call the contact centre.

  • For children up to 18: 0345 045 5203
  • For adults over 18: 0345 045 5202

Due to COVID-19 there are a range of temporary changes to the way health and wellbeing services for children and young people are delivered. To support you during this time, please contact the relevant service below.

  • Cambridgeshire Community Services – if you have a query regarding any children’s health service you can contact the services on 0300 029 5050, 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Or you can visit the Cambridgeshire Community Services website for further advice and information 
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust (CPFT) - visit the (CPFT) website for updates to service changes
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Support – if you have a query regarding the mental health and wellbeing of child or young person, a wide range of information regarding support, advice and guidance can be found on the Keep Your Head website 

Home learning resources

Visit the Learn-Together website - SEND home learning 

Support resources for schools and parents - from the Education Endowment Foundation

Leaflets on talking about coronavirus

Recommended books for children who are anxious or worried

Additional recommendations for books to help children from NSPCC library online

Dealing with anxiety and wellbeing

Easy Read materials

Mencap - Easy read Information about how to keep safe and well during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including guidance around social distancing and face coverings and vaccinations.

BBC Coronavirus information: What should I do?

NHS Coronavirus - Wash your hands more often

Learning Disability England information and resources about the virus and what you can to do to stay safe and well, and how people are staying connected and finding solutions.

Keep Safe has produced Easy Read posters about Coronavirus.

You can get 30 days free access to Widget Symbols online as well as some free activities, Covid related symbols and a short Widgit book about why its ok to feel worried about the news.

Home Activities for Early Years (videos)

Further sources of support

The NSPCC has advice on talking to children about coronavirus.

You can talk to a practitioner in the  CHUMS mental health and wellbeing service.

The Family Fund has some additional funding from the DfE during Covid-19 to help low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children (aged 17 and under) with the cost of equipment, goods or services. Parents and carers can apply for funding on the Family Fund website.

ThinkNinja is a mental health app designed for 10 to 18 year olds, and has been made free to use during the pandemic. Using a variety of content and tools, it allows young people to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and develop skills they can use to build resilience and stay well.

Supporting parents and carers in the restoration and recovery phase of COVID-19

These videos have been developed in partnership with Pinpoint (Cambridgeshire’s local parent / carer forum for parents of children with special educational needs) to support parents and carers

The videos offer an accessible introduction to the latest research and guidance related to topics such as boosting resilience, developing emotional literacy and emotional regulation and managing anxiety. There are ideas for effecting change and managing transition at home, as well as guidance on the language that we can use to support children and young people in distress.

Session 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Clj-sH_ppw&feature=youtu.be

In this session, we explore our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on family life. Included are some thoughts on how we can apply systems theory to understanding the impact of COVID-19, and the risk factors that have made some children and young people particularly vulnerable.

Supporting links:

Session 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6Ojfo3cr7A&feature=youtu.be

In this session, we explore how theories of resilience can help us plan for recovery from a pandemic. Included are some definitions of resilience, two models of resilience and some ideas for how resilience might be boosted at home.

Supporting links:

Session 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5ASz562ybA&feature=youtu.be

In this session, we explore how we can encourage children and young people to put emotions to words (to develop their emotional literacy). Included are some models of emotions, and some ideas for how the language of emotions can be incorporated into everyday life at home.

Supporting links:

Session 4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-jEC9PAVhw&feature=youtu.be

In this session, we explore ways to encourage children and young people to stay calm when they’re experiencing strong emotions (to develop their emotional regulation). Included is a model of emotional regulation, as well as some strategies and top tips for when life gets intense.

Supporting links:

Session 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPSHa4T-1pg&feature=youtu.be In this session, we explore our understanding of anxiety, and particularly anxiety that relates to school attendance. Included is information about six areas that research suggests are important when supporting children and young people that are anxious.

Supporting links:

Session 6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0htmF84lwE&feature=youtu.be

In this session, we explore the basis for effecting change or managing transitions at home. Included are some ideas related to developing healthy routines as well as seven conditions to maximise the chances of making a change happen.

Supporting links:

Session 7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3jLQzwQf2U&feature=youtu.be

In this session, we bring together a number of themes to explore the language we use to boost resilience and coping in children and young people. Included are five ideas rooted in cognitive behaviour therapy that children and young people are likely to find supportive when they’re experiencing strong emotions.

Supporting links:

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/

Pinpoint can help signpost a parent carers towards the right service as its run by parent carers for parent carers. It offers free workshops and information sessions as well as drop-in sessions where you can get support alongside other parent carers. Its website is a source of help for parent carers and it provides regular updates on social media and through its monthly newsletter service. Pinpoint is also the Parent Carer Forum for Cambridgeshire ensuring that parent carer voices are heard and shape services for children and young adults with Special Needs and Disabilities.

SEND Information and advice service

Cambridgeshire’s SENDIASS Facebook page will have details of national and local developments as well as general information to help parents and carers support themselves and their families during this difficult time.

Telephone: 01223 699214

Grants for families raising disabled children available from Family Fund

The DfE has provided a further £10 million to the Family Fund which is a UK-wide charity that provides grants for essential items to families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children.

Families can apply for grants for a wide variety of items that they feel could help their disabled child and ease some of the everyday pressures they face. These can include kitchen appliances, computers and tablets, furniture, family breaks and day trips, sensory toys, clothing and bedding, and more. Family Fund cannot consider requests where a statutory agency has assessed a need and have a responsibility to provide the item.

Families who have previously received a grant from Family Fund before 1 April 2020 and whose circumstances have not changed can re-apply for further funding.

The end of lockdown? The last six months in the lives of families raising disabled children - UK Findings - September 2020

The aim of the research is:

  • To understand how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting families raising disabled or seriously ill children in the UK.
  • To understand the concerns and needs of families raising disabled or seriously ill children in UK resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the full report 'The end of lockdown? The last six months in the lives of families raising disabled children.

Due to the potential changes to students' attendance at school because of the coronavirus, we are temporarily changing the PTB Process. Find out more at the Transport for pre-16 pupils with special educational needs and Transport for post-16 pupils with special educational needs webpages.

Two short films have been produced on flu vaccinations. The first is for carers of people with a learning disability about the importance of vaccinating themselves and the people they care for.

The second is about vaccinating people with a learning disability and autistic people with certain health conditions.

Both cover why it is important, who is eligible for a free vaccine, where you can get the vaccine and reasonable adjustments.