Children’s home providers 'frustrated' by inconsistent Covid-19 vaccinations policies
Monday, February 1, 2021
Children’s home providers across England and Wales are facing uncertainty over inconsistencies in vaccinating staff, the Independent Children’s Home Association (ICHA) has reported.
Government guidelines state that social care workers should receive vaccines as part of phase two of the roll-out which includes frontline staff.
However, those working with children, including in children’s homes, are not guaranteed a vaccine.
Official guidance directs local authorities to “identify providers of social care services and the number of eligible frontline social care workers they employ” and “establish a coordinator to work with providers and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services”.
It does not specify the eligibility of children’s home staff who are not employed by a local authority.
An internal memo sent to members of the ICHA, seen by CYP Now, states that some councils “were reported by council staff to have given their own children’s home staff vaccines but were refusing to respond to requests for the same from independent homes-despite them caring for their children”.
However, “this seems to be a minority”, the report, by ICHA chief executive Peter Sandiford, states, adding that others are offering vaccines or “planning to make them available” to children’s home workers.
One children’s home reported being contacted by its local GP to access vaccinations for staff, it said.
Sandiford describes issues faced by a provider with homes in both England and Wales, stating: “All their home staff in Wales were vaccinated two weeks ago, and their sector was a priority there and reflected that it had been ‘like hitting a brick wall’ trying to get the same for his homes in England.
“Respondents who have not been offered the vaccine or have had no contact about it from their council, are frustrated at the inconsistency across the country,” he says.
**CYP Now has produced a short survey for children’s home providers and staff to take part in to provide a picture on how the vaccination programme is being rolled out in England.**