Advice for parents and families with a child in the care system: Ways you can support your child during the Coronavirus outbreak

Family Rights Group

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, over the next few months, all of us will be practicing social distancing or will have to self-isolate. This will lead to significantly reduced physical interactions with people we love and care about.

The importance of your child’s welfare must take priority over everything during this crisis. You may be worried about your child and desperately missing visiting them but you, your child, their carer, social workers, and other family members must follow government Coronavirus guidance on staying at home and social distancing.

Maintaining social networks is important for all children but it is often especially significant for those who do not live with their parents and who may struggle with identity, anxiety, prior rejection and loss. Keeping in touch with people they care about, particularly those they are close to, such brothers or sisters and grandparents or those with additional health concerns, will help provide reassurance during an already difficult time. This guide sets out ways that you might be able to support your child during the crisis, even if you cannot physically be with them.

We would encourage you to use this guide to think of ways that you can help your child to feel loved, reassured and cared about. Discuss with your child’s social worker, and ideally also with your child’s carers, a plan for how you and other relatives can safely support your child during the crisis.

This guide aims to help parents and families of children who are looked after in the care system.

The guide also provides information for families whose children have been adopted. This is a very difficult time. Whilst we have written it for families, we hope that local authorities, social workers and foster and residential carers, will find this useful and we would welcome your feedback.