Coronavirus daily digest: Thursday 2 April

Fiona Simpson
Thursday, April 2, 2020

Children's Minister Vicky Ford has shown appreciation to social workers across England while the government has called for schools to remain open over Easter as the sector deals with the impact of coronavirus.

Children's Minister Vicky Ford has praised the frontline work of social workers. Picture: Parliament UK
Children's Minister Vicky Ford has praised the frontline work of social workers. Picture: Parliament UK

Each day, CYP Now will summarise the key issues affecting the children and families sector as it tackles the effects of the pandemic. The daily update signposts children’s services practitioners and leaders to the latest developments, expert views, advice and resources.

Here are latest updates from 2 April:

Minister thanks social workers

Children’s Minister Vicky Ford has spoken with social work practice leaders across the country in a virtual conference about Covid-19.

In a tweet, Ford hailed social workers as "heroes" and reminded the public to "Thank them all every day and especially at this time".

Calls for more PPE

The government has been urged to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for social workers and health visitors after the death of a Southwark Council social worker.

Southwark Council leader Peter John shared the sad news on Twitter, saying that a refuse collector had also died from the disease.

The British Association of Social Workers has written an open letter to government calling for social workers to be provided with protective equipment while health visitors said they were "struggling to work with families safely" due to lack of resources like gloves, hand sanitiser and masks.

Government urged to support charities

Unite the Union has called for the government to provide a support package for charities left struggling due to the pandemic.

Unite has joined forces with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in calling for emergency funding for the sector after the NCVO has estimated that the sector could lose £4.3bn in income over the next three months.

Schools to open over Easter

Schools will open to children over Easter, sparking calls for the Department for Education to extend its free school meals voucher scheme to cover the two-week break.

Organisations including the National Education Union and the Local Government Association have backed calls for the government's voucher scheme to be extended over the holidays after the Department for Education updated guidance asking schools to remain open where possible.

UK Youth crisis appeal 

UK Youth has launched a crisis appeal to “ensure the survival of youth services” hit by the financial impact of coronavirus.

The fund is designed to support both vulnerable young people at a higher risk of exploitation and loneliness due to the closure of youth centres and youth workers whose jobs may be at risk due to the crisis.

Facebook scammers pose as NHS Nightingale

A fake Facebook page claiming to belong to NHS Nightingale, a field hospital being built at London’s Excel centre, has called for children to create pictures of rainbows to decorate wards for coronavirus patients.

The new hospital's official Twitter account posted a statement confirming the Facebook page was not affiliated with the hospital after it was liked and shared hundreds of times.

The statement says: "Unfortunately, a fake Facebook account has been set up for the Nightingale Hospital London asking people to share rainbow pictures. Please be aware of misinformation and only get your information from trusted sources."


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