Coronavirus: supporting parents and carers of children with SEND

As per the Government’s advice, on Monday 23rd of March 2020, all Richmond Children & Youth Centres and face-to-face services for children with SEND, were closed until further notice.

Schools will only be open to children of key workers, vulnerable young people, and children with special needs or disabilities that are supported through an EHCP (Education, Health & Care Plan). Children and youth centres can also support the most vulnerable children. However, not all may be able to attend these services.

If your child will not be able to leave the home for example, due to health reasons, you may be wondering whether they are ready to stay home alone; the NSPCC has prepared a need-to-know guide to take this important decision. If your child is too young, not independent enough or simply it is not safe to leave them home alone, TAG Youth Club has prepared a "Sensory Library" catalogue with activities for children and young people with disabilities.  They also have regular live chats and a Friday night youth club via Zoom with quizzes, games, bingo and entertainers. Visit their website and email them at info@tagyouthclub.org to get the catalogue or ask for more information.

Additionally, Achieving for Children are working with commissioned services and the third sector to ensure that parents and carers will be able to fulfill their children and young people’s needs.

I want to reassure you that we are working closely with our partners in local schools, residential schools and other education providers to understand their current situations and to plan for potential school and residential unit closures as they arise. This includes planning for the needs of individual children who will not be in school and/or able to stay in their residential placement.
— Ian Dodds, Director of Kingston & Richmond Children’s Services

Schools, relevant charities and AfC are planning to provide home-learning support for those who are unable to attend school, and plans are being made to maintain the short breaks provision. For updates on this and other local support visit Achieving for Children’s Local Offer website and sign up to their newsletter.

You can also keep up to date with the Government's provision for vulnerable children by following THIS LINK.

If you have any questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) that are related to education, the Department of Education have setup a dedicated helpline. Staff, parents and young people can call 0800 046 8687 or email DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk from 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).

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