An update from the Children's Education Service on arrangements in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hammersmith & Fulham
The SEND service – like the rest of Hammersmith & Fulham Council and our partners – is adapting the way we work to ensure that we can continue to support you. Our aim is to continue to operate services effectively and to a high standard during the coronavirus outbreak, while at the same time ensuring that we keep you and our staff safe.
We’ve created this resource to help give you more information and reassurance during this uncertain time.
The service is still operating at Hammersmith & Fulham Council but Government guidance means that most of our staff is working at home, which is having an impact on our ability to deliver frontline services as quickly as we would like to.
As a result, we’ve created this guide to use before contacting the duty line or other services about individual situations.
- Please see guidance on Coronavirus in additional community languages
- Family Support supports families at every stage to build stronger brains and build resilience. They are adapting the services due to coronavirus outbreak and have launched a new service called ‘time to connect’, providing families with a listening ear to talk through any worries and provide guidance and advice. This service is open to all and can be accessed here
- Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
- the new The Family Support Virtual Family Centre opened its doors today with live content being streamed daily plus New Alby TV activity sessions uploaded every weekday at 10am on our Facebook page where our children’s centre staff present short interactive videos you can join in with at home! A new Alby TV Story time is also uploaded every weekday at 5pm where our children’s centre staff present story time videos
- Shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
- COVID-19 Taxicard changes
- Please remember to stay safe online - The Met Police have produced this guidance for you to view
- Parent / Guardian Online Radicalisation Information and Support
- Helping children understand COVID-19
- Managing unexpected endings and transitions - a practical guide to support pupils and students to manage change during periods of disruption
- National Careers Service London - support for all jobseekers
- Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
If your child is unwell you are advised to contact your GP.
In respect of children and young people with SEND and their health needs, we continue to work closely with NHS colleagues who support children and young people with SEND.
At this time the NHS is working to respond to COVID-19 and in response to the on-going pandemic, health services have adapted to deliver services as best as possible given the current constraints. All services are working to prioritise those children and young people most in need, including those with Education, Health and Care Plans. All services are accepting new referrals.
Local SEND Health Services are delivering a blended model of online, telephone and face to face appointments. All of these contact methods can support children and young people and those working with them. Health colleagues have also worked with others to collate and develop helpful resources (see resources section of this page).
Details of how to access online appointments are set out below
- Guide to access online appointments- parents/young people and carers
- Leaflet on how to use Attend Anywhere
- Leaflet on how to use Blue Jeans on your phone or tablet
- Leaflet on how to use Microsoft Teams
- Leaflet on how to use Zoom
Parents, Carers and Young People are invited to contact services directly if you have any queries or want advice in relation to your child’s needs. You can contact services in the following
Call the Children’s Complex Care and Speech and Language Therapy Administration Hub on 020 7266 8777 to speak with any of the following services:
- CLCH Paediatric Nutrition and Dietetics
- CLCH Occupational Therapy
- CLCH Speech and Language Therapy
- Imperial Children’s Physiotherapy
- Woodfield Child Development Service including Clinical Psychology
This phone line will be open Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm.
To speak to services delivered by Chelsea & Westminster Hospital call the numbers below:
- Cheyne Child Development Service: 0203 3156577
- ChelWest Music Therapy: 02033156472
- Cheyne CDS Specialist Nurse: 0203 3156470
- Cheyne CDS Clinical Psychology: 0203 3153196
- ChelWest Children’s Physiotherapy: 0203 3158667
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services): West London CAMHS are continuing to support children and young people known to their services as best as possible. West London CAMHS are also continuing to accept new referrals. If you want to contact West London CAMHS you can call 020 8483 1979. Visit their website here.
Please go to the individual service pages to find out more about the service offer.
The West London Trust is the provider of Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) and advise that they expect their focus will be towards assisting the children, young people and families in such a way that they do not require attendance at A&E or even need an admission to a mental health service. By keeping everyone away from A&E we are reducing demand on their capacity and keeping our staff and service-users safe. We are developing plans for an alternative base to A&E where mental health patients, including children can be seen in the event they do need to attend.
West London Trust: https://www.westlondon.nhs.uk/
Are you a young person aged 11 to 26? Do you need emotional health and well-being support? If so, Kooth is a free, safe and secure means of accessing support through an online counselling platform. Visit the website here to register and contact them for free.
There are also resources for parents and carers on the SEND Local Offer about looking after yourself and your children during the coronavirus crisis - please click here.
Government advice means that many children and young people with an EHC Plan can safely remain at home. However, we accept that some children and young people's needs may not be safely met at home. We will work closely with parents, schools, colleges, health, and social care partners to make available adequate local provision.
We all want children and young people to be safe. Government guidance suggests that in most cases the safest place is at home.
The situation is very different in each school and individual schools have made arrangements for their pupils with parents and carers, including arrangements for more vulnerable pupils and those who have EHCPs. These situations are shifting and being assessed on a daily basis, so arrangements may change. Parents and carers should check their school website for updates.
The SEND service is working closely with schools and education services to assess the impact of current school closures on families, as well as provision for children who are still going to school.
Our InSpire team will also be running some weekly drop ins during the lockdown/school closure, one for parents troubleshooting any home school issue, and one for school staff working with vulnerable children attending school.
Our SEND service will support schools and colleges to undertake individual risk assessments, in discussion with parents to determine appropriate provision
Please see the relevant Government guidance for parents and carers:
Open letter from Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families to children and young people with SEND, their families, and those who work to support them.
- Shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
- Travel advice from Transport for London ahead of some school years restarting on 1st June
Where you have an education, health and care needs assessment in process or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC), our planning service aims to work with you on decisions about your child.
To contact the EHC planning service:
- email SEND@lbhf.gov.uk
- or call 020 8753 1021.
Decision-making processes for EHCNAs and EHCPs will be the same as usual using electronic communication. This includes the SEND Panel.
Based on Government guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we may have to reduce or cancel scheduled short breaks activities. Changes will be discussed with families on an individual basis
The Stephen Wiltshire Centre duty line will be open for calls and emails between 10am and 4pm to offer advice and information for families of disabled children.
- Call 020 8753 4443
- or email: email@example.com
New referrals will not be taken at this stage. But if the situation is urgent, referrals can be made through ICAT. The Initial Consultation and Advice team and the Contact and Assessment Teams will continue to manage new referrals from partner agencies, parents and members of the public who are concerned about a child’s safety or welfare.
However, we are limiting face-to-face appointments and require all referrals to be made by phone or email. Email the ICAT team:
- or call 020 8753 6600.
Our staff will be contacting individual families where there are more complex needs and will review plans on a regular basis as things change.
Further guidance on short-breaks is being put together and will be available shortly and a letter has gone out to families.
Most children with disabilities in H&F are allocated either a Social Worker, a keyworker or a Short Breaks Worker - families are encouraged to contact their allocated worker using known contact details or contact The Stephen Wiltshire Centre duty line to discuss their individual circumstances:
- Tel: 020 8753 4443
- or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The duty line is open daily between 10am and 4pm to offer advice and information for families of disabled children.
If families do not have an allocated worker and are worried, they can call the SWC duty line.
Families with disabled children and young people as well as disabled young adults who use Direct Payments/Personal Budgets
The Council remains fully committed to providing care support during this time. So far, essential services are running as usual and we have a daily status update call with all our support suppliers. There are no plans to reduce care support. However, non-essential work such as cleaning etc. may be disrupted should care supply become an issue. We have also made other contingency plans. Click here to see our coronavirus advice for parents, carers and disabled young people age 18+ who receive direct payments.
Parentsactive is the parent-carer forum for Hammersmith & Fulham residents and provides a support network for parents to gain and share information, make new friends and most importantly realise that they are not alone.
Parentsactive will continue their service though social media, emails and WhatsApp broadcast lists. For more details, email Parentsactive at:
- or call 07507 628474
- visit www.parentsactive.org.uk
- view their helpful infographic here
SENDIASS is a statutory SEND support service and is provided by Insights ESC offering impartial information, advice and support for parents and carers, children, young people with special educational needs/disabilities resident in Hammersmith & Fulham. For more details, visit this page.
The service is currently operating remotely.
- Telephone: 020 8840 9099 (#Option 2, Hammersmith & Fulham IASS
- E-mail: email@example.com
- INSIGHTS IASS Website
KIDS London provides independent mediation and useful information and advice for children, young people and parents/ carers.
- Call 020 7359 3635
- or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing
- Covibook – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic
- Public Health England
- Well Child, a national charity for sick children, has produced information for parents and carers, including a direct reponse scheme which you can view here
- Activities to Occupy Time
- Covid-19 resources
- Our helpful Activity Menu that you can populate together as a family
- Example family agreement template that can be used
- How to tell a child or young person that someone has died from coronavirus
- How to say goodbye when a funeral isn’t possible
- Occupational Therapy Resource pack for parents
- Teen guide to surviving lockdown
- Conversations matter
- Face covering exemption card
- Black Lives Matter guide for parents
- Action on Disability