Families First News

Front page - Welcome

Welcome Message

Dear Partners and colleagues,

As promised we are publishing more frequent editions of our Families First News which are focussing on how our partners are adapting and responding to delivering services during this period. I hope this brings you plenty of useful links and please remember to take a look at our "difference we're making page"

A beautiful rainbow created with guidance from our IFST family craft activity packs 😊

Families First Partnership Meetings

We will be endeavouring to continue with our planned Families First Partnership meetings in each of the districts. We have witnessed how services have successfully transitioned to undertaking meetings virtually and proved that we can continue to support each other during these restricted times. In addition, to support partnership connectivity we are also preparing a district bulletin page for each double district. We start with the St Albans and Dacorum districts with others to be added shortly. In addition, please take a look at our countywide partner updates and if you would like to add any information about your service please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Families First Practice Guidance

We have developed a practice standards guidance to support Families First Practitioners whilst working in the current Covid19 circumstances. The content of this booklet will be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect the continuing changing picture and is hosted on our Covid-19 page of the FF Portal.

Positive Stories

We are delighted to hear of the many innovative ways of working to support families which are taking place. Please take a look at our good news stories for news of our Intensive Family Support Teams' Lending Library, Activity Packs and Cook in the Bag activities.

We have also kept our key service updates and links to health, financial advice and pages with tips on home schooling, mindfulness and general wellbeing to keeping healthy and active.

Our grants page may also be of interest to your service, please take a look at some of the grants that are being made available during this period.

Please continue to send any articles/messages and good news stories to familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Please all stay safe, stay positive and take care.

Best wishes from the Families First Development Team

The latest news

Families First Covid-19 Response Update

Families First covid-19 response update - at 21/04/2020

Here’s an overview of how our Families First services are operating during the current situation. We are still accessible via phone and email so please keep in touch!

Our Intensive Family Support Team is….

  • maintaining contact with families via video/telephone
  • undertaking home visits in instances where there are cases with safeguarding concern
  • cancelling any planned group sessions, training or events
  • accepting new referrals appropriate to the service
  • carrying out FFA over the phone/internet where possible
  • supporting families to access food banks and shopping
  • offering activity packs to families
  • contacting schools to offer support
  • updating district service directory and sharing with partners

Our Partnerships, Practice and Development Team is….

  • continuing to offer practice advice and support via video/telephone/email
  • continuing to provide EHM system support by phone and email
  • taking calls from practitioners requiring practice advice, support or guidance for open FFAs and families they are supporting
  • maintaining contact with families via telephone
  • contributing to TAF if required by video/telephone/update case notes
  • not delivering Families First Practice & EHM training and Practice Forums
  • continuing to receive and respond to Personalised Commissioning applications as they come in 

Please note:

  • The Consultation Hub is temporarily closed as of 18th March. Keyworkers of open FFA’s should seek advice from their Local Senior and Families First Coordinator. There will be an expectation that you continue to consult the Continuum of Need - March 2017 and HSCB Child Protection Procedures  and your designated safeguarding lead where you have a child protection concern. Please note – Where you are concerned that a child may be at imminent risk of significant harm, please call 999 for Police or make a Child Protection Contact Referral by either calling the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 and/or complete and submit a Child Protection Contact Referral online. The form will be located online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/childprotection
  • Families First Helpdesk support is being provided via email only for the next few weeks and will continually review this.  Please email any registration or requests for support with EHM system to familiesfirstassessment@hertfordshire.gov.uk and copy in your local Senior Families First Coordinator.  Please include your telephone number in your email. Either a Helpdesk staff or your Local Senior and Families First Coordinator will call you back as soon as possible.

 Families First Triage will...

  • Continue to review and progress new contacts
  • Continue to signpost families to relevant services
  • Continue to provide information, advice and guidance to parents/carers and professionals
  • Are currently arranging meetings with all triage panel members to discuss most effective way of moving forward

    Other resources:

    Covid19 – Hertfordshire County Council

    Covid19 – Children’s Services Updates

    Covid 19 – Safeguarding Children

    Covid19 - Families First Response

     

    Where do I get the latest information?

    New guidance for early years settings on re opening

    The Department for Education (DfE) have published new guidance setting out the overarching aims and principles of this next phase, including information about implementing protective measures and the reopening of childcare provision from 1 June 2020.

    You can read the full guidance here.

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    Service updates

    With significant disruption to many of the HCC services please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/serviceupdates

    New Government guidance for children’s social care services

    The Government have published new guidance for local authorities and their partners to support and protect vulnerable children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. You can read the guidance here.

    Health Advice

    For general guidance and health advice, check Coronavirus – what you need to know.

    For Financial Advice

    Referral links for professionals and volunteers

    A very useful referral document for professionals and volunteers can be downloaded here.

     

    Safeguarding during COVID-19

    The HSCP website now has a page related Safeguarding during COVID-19.   This includes updates on current services, resources for children and families and a range of links to national guidance and support including a video aimed at volunteers on safeguarding.

    You can also view the HSCP/HSAB spring 2020 newsletter here


    Safeguarding and Child Protection Multi-Agency Course :

    Due to COVID-19, the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership have suspended all face to face training events.

    However, we are now offering this course as a live webinar, held over two 1.5hrs sessions. You can sign up for this event via our website


    New Government guidance for children’s social care services

    The Government have published new guidance for local authorities and their partners to support and protect vulnerable children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. You can read the guidance here.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services

     

    Partner Service Update

    Please see service updates from HCC teams and Partners, please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk if you would like to include your service on this page.


    Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) Service

    The IDVA service are continuing to offer support to all victims of domestic abuse around safety, security and well-being.  Refuges are still accepting victims into the accommodation and legal orders can still be applied for to protect victims from further abuse. 

    If you have anyone needing advice and support please complete the referral form and return it to hertsIDVA@refuge.org.uk (duty) where the case will be allocated to an IDVA to provide advice and support.

    The duty number is still available 0300 790 6772 which can be provided to the public to contact, this is for the Hertfordshire service (Monday to Friday 9-5)

    The 24hr helpline is still available 24/7 on 0808 2000 247.


    Family Centres : Update from Family Support Service

    During these times of uncertainty, we hope that you and your teams are keeping well.

    As with many services across Hertfordshire, we too have reviewed our usual ways of working to ensure the health and safety of our teams and the families we support. 

    We are however continuing to offer our services to families, with some small tweaks to how the 1:1 and group support is delivered – therefore, our referral pathway remains unaffected at this time.

    Some of the changes that we have made include:

    • We are now providing the support, advice and guidance through telephone and video-calling where possible.
    • A new response approach has been developed for parents who are experiencing the most challenging situations at this time.
    • We are providing digital material on our Facebook and Instagram pages for ALL families to access at a time that suits them, such as home learning ideas and activities, Story Times and Rhyme Time sessions.  Families will just need to follow our pages.
    • Some families are receiving Parenting Group support through Zoom sessions, with more planned for the future.
    • Key information such as ‘Preparing for Baby’ antenatal support and Introduction to Solids advice and guidance is still available for families to access – they can book as usual through Eventbrite and will then be provided with details to our new platform where they can access the online video links. 
    • Families who were booked on to attend face to face sessions are being contacted directly to ensure that they receive the new online information
    • Future plans include developing digital material that supports all of our emerging needs offer, such as Early Talk and Oral Health.

    If you know of a family who would benefit from some support, please contact the relevant Team Leader or Manager, prior to completing the referral form to discuss the family’s needs and the support available - Phone: 0300 123 7572. Alternatively you can refer the family directly: https://www.hertsfamilycentres.org/professionals-area/family-centre-professionals-area.aspx


    Health Visitors :

    For families with children aged under 5 and school nurses ( for families with children aged 5-19 ) are still working. To get in touch please ring the duty line on: 0300 123 7572 Monday to Friday

    The duty line is available to professionals and to families for advice and support.

    Or go to the Family Centre Service website   https://www.hertsfamilycentre.org

    Two great links are: Health for Kids – local health services and advice for children aged 4 to 11 years old.

    Health for teens – bite-sized info and advice for 11 to 19 year olds in Hertfordshire.


    YC Hertfordshire - Support for young people during the coronavirus outbreak

    YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People face-to-face work is currently suspended following government rules on staying at home in order to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, but we are still supporting young people in many ways.

    Young people can still get information, advice, guidance and support on a wide range of issues via phone and email. Youth Workers and Personal Advisers can help and work with young people one-to-one and in monitored online youth projects with other young people.

    Services for Young People youth projects and all other face-to-face work is currently suspended, but young people can still get information, advice, guidance and support on a range of issues, including health and wellbeing and sexual health from qualified Youth Workers and Personal Advisers. For the moment this will be via phone or email. https://www.ychertfordshire.org/support-for-young-people/support-for-young-people-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/

    We are also looking to increase our capacity of our Supporting You programme, which we feel will benefit many young people at this time: https://www.ychertfordshire.org/media/870233/084376-supporting-you_professionals-dl-leaflet_jan-19_v2_5a.pdf a referral to this programme is the same as the above.

    In addition to the monitored online youth projects young people can still get information, advice, guidance and support on a wide range of issues via phone and email. Youth Workers and Personal Advisers can help and work with young people one-to-one.


    Parenting Together Support Programme

    Important changes

    The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents us all with huge challenges in protecting ourselves and our families.

    The providers of the Parenting Together Support Programme are continuing to offer therapeutic help by switching from face-to-face therapy to video based sessions until the current emergency is over.

    We've switched to online referrals only at this time

    As more practitioners are working from home and supporting families via video call/telephone, the online referral form will be the version to use from now on.  For more details on this and the difference in gaining consent, please follow this link


    Domestic Abuse Services

    Across Hertfordshire, all domestic abuse services are still operating, and our top priority is to ensure victims get the support they need.

    For frontline professionals and members of the public, all current services and referral routes into services remain the same. Our services have adapted the way they work to continue offering a service to victims, even during lockdown. View information on pathways


    We're still here to help!

    Click here to enter your postcode or town and find your local Citizens Advice and details of current opening hours and services.


    Domestic Abuse Live Chat Launched by Safer Places

    Safer Places have launched a new live chat service to support those experiencing, or at risk of abuse

    The new service enables anyone experiencing abuse to chat directly with a member of the Safer Places team.

    The measures announced to tackle coronavirus (COVID 19) have seen day to day life change dramatically and undoubtedly made it harder for people to access support services as survivors are isolated with abusers with small windows of opportunity to speak. This new service will give survivors the opportunity to access support discreetly.

    The service provides survivors with information and supports individuals to make choices about how to increase their safety, the safety of their family and make decisions about their future. Research tells us that more and more of us go online to find information and look for answers. Safer Places online chat service is available both day and night and enables those who feel safer seeking support online to chat to a qualified professional to get confidential support and advice when, where, and how they want it. 

    The new service will initially be open between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday and 8pm - 8am Fri - Sun 8pm - 8am 

    Our emergency line will remain open 24/7 please call 03301 025 811 for more information about how to access our services.


    Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service - Spectrum coronavirus response update 31-03-2020

    Here’s an overview on how our Families and Young People’s team are operating during the current situation. We are still accessible via phone (0800 652 3169) and email (Herts@cgl.org.uk) during our normal opening hours so please keep in touch!

    Our resilience workers are…

    1. Still offering the same level of support to young people with drug/ alcohol issues – like most services, this is being conducted over the phone
    2. Providing some (limited) face-to-face support to young people on prescribed medication – our hubs in Hatfield, Stevenage, Watford and Hertford are still open to facilitate this, where needed
    3. Checking-in with the young people they support, completing service user plans with them and providing workbooks via email

    Our family and hidden harm workers are…

    1. Still doing their regular check-ins with young people who are at an appropriate age to participate in telephone calls
    2. Conducting check-ins with parents via phone, if the child isn’t old enough to do this

    Please note:

    • We are looking at ways to avoid disruption caused by a reduction in face-to-face contacts e.g. Whatsapp, Zoom, other video calling options
    • More vulnerable young people are being contacted more regularly, with prescribed clients being contacted twice weekly
    • We are still taking referrals for resilience workers and assessing over the phone
    • Hidden harm referrals are being held by the team leader on a tracker until a time when support can be effectively delivered

    Other resources:

    • Our coronavirus page for under-21s: www.changegrowlive.org/advice-info/coronavirus/people-under-21
    • We have a list of apps and websites to help people with drug or alcohol problems here: www.changegrowlive.org/advice-info/alcohol-drugs


    Resolve - Drug and alcohol Support

    We hope you are all keeping safe and well during this time!

    Resolve provides psychosocial drug and alcohol support for those struggling with Substance Misuse. Due to current circumstances, we are operating slightly differently to normal, however we are still offering the following support;

    • Supporting clients all over Hertfordshire from our 2 hubs in WGC and Letchworth
    • Offering online psychosocial group support 4 times a week via Zoom
    • Taking new referrals and assessing and supporting over the phone
    • Conducting 121 key work support and counselling with our trained counsellors over the phone or via Zoom

    Mental Health Services

    The wide range of support for people who have mental health concerns includes:
    · Herts Help – a signposting and advice service which can help direct people to the right support - 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net
    · Hertfordshire Mind Network crisis helpline – 01923 256 391
    · NHS HPFT’s Single Point of Access - for people in a mental health crisis who live in Hertfordshire - 0300 777 0707 from 8am – 7pm, 01438 843322 out of hours or email: hpft.spa@nhs.net
    · Samaritans - 116 123, 24 hours a day, every day
    · The national NHS ‘Every Mind Matters’ website has expert advice and practical tips for people experiencing anxiety, low mood and sleep problems - https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/


    Herts Mind Network

    Please see the current timetable and support services for anyone struggling with their mental health.

    Their free one to one Peer Support service is also operating via telephone not face to face.

    They have offices in Letchworth, Borehamwood, Watford, Hemel, Waltham Cross, Bishops Stortford and Borehamwood. They offer support to anyone living in Hertfordshire.


    Money Advice Unit, HCC

    Following recent Government guidance, unfortunately we have had to cancel all remaining face to face Money Advice Unit training in May.

    If you are booked on a course in June we will be in touch to let you know if these will be going ahead.

    Unfortunately we are not able to accept any further training bookings for the time being.


    Families in Focus CIC

    Summer courses now scheduled for zoom too and even the courses that show full, we will take parents on a wait list as some may not be able to attend zoom meetings due to caring needs, no device, or unable to access virtual platforms etc.

    Handling Anger in Your Family

    A free CANparent quality mark course for parents of primary aged children living in Hertfordshire

    This very popular, effective and award winning anger management course offers:

    • Gain greater understanding of how anger and other emotions live in your family
    • Increase your understanding of triggers that cause angry outbursts and zones of regulation
    • Learn healthy anger management strategies for children & parents to reduce angry outbursts
    • Discover creative ways to support children to ‘let go’ of anger safely
    • Gain effective communication techniques to reduce angry outbursts
    • Meet and share experiences with other parents living in families similar to yours

    A Complete Guide to Parenting Children with SEND

    This course is free to any parent living in Hertfordshire and caring for a primary aged children awaiting diagnosis or with a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD, SEND.
    Lesley & Francine are parents and experienced & qualified trainers.

    Topics included:

    • Understanding the language of SEND, helpful services and signposting
    • Gain greater understanding of behaviours that challenge and answer the question, ‘Why does my child do that?’
    • Learn a range of strategies & solutions, to better manage & reduce behaviours that challenge.
    • Gain more understanding of anger triggers and strategies to reduce angry meltdowns.
    • Learn how to support siblings living with a sister/brother with additional needs/challenging behaviours.
    • Learn communication techniques to reduce ‘emotional traffic jams’ and improve your child’s emotional regulation

    Techniques to manage the emotional journey & parental stress & conflict and so much more


    GamCare

    We understand that many of our service users will be worried and concerned about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please be assured that our services are still open, and we offer both telephone support and online support for anyone affected by problem gambling.

    The National Gambling Helpline is open 24 hours every day on Freephone 0808 80 20 133, or you can live chat with us.

    We appreciate that these are unusual times and for some people coping with the stress of this and self-isolation may increase urges to gamble. Please contact GamCare Hertfordshire for help and support if this is the case – we are here if you need us.

    All new assessments for clients into GamCare Hertfordshire will be held over the phone. We will be in touch with all current clients to arrange ongoing telephone support. If you would like to have a chat about what might work best for you, please give us a call on 0143 848 7003.

    If you would like to register for online (video) treatment please click here.

    Our Forum is also available throughout the day and overnight to connect you to others in similar situations so that you can seek and share support. We are also providing chatroom sessions twice a day and are planning to increase these to provide additional support.

    Additionally, our GameChange course is available for those who would like to work through an online course, supported by regular contact with a GamCare therapist.

    We also have more information available on blocking software and self-exclusion, plus self-help resources: https://www.gamcare.org.uk/self-help/

     


    Hertfordshire Adult & Family Learning Service (HAFLS update)

    With community buildings, schools and other venues shutting their doors, Hertfordshire Adult Family Learning Service and our network of partners have been busy developing an online version of our courses.

    Thanks to the determination of the team, our Spring courses have been taught remotely while the Summer term of courses will also now be delivered in real-time, online, for free.

    Meanwhile, our partners are not only delivering planned courses online – they have also developed some additional courses to help cope mentally in this unprecedented crisis affecting us all.

    This summer, we will have a range of family courses where both the parent and child(ren) can get involved. These include;

    • Family Mindfulness
    • Family Maths Key Stage 2
    • Family English

    During these 2-hour weekly online courses held across 5 weeks, the parent will be able to learn before the child is then involved in the second part of the session in a fun activity.

    To access our courses, please visit us at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/haflscourses or call us on 01992 556194. To find out more information on the courses our partners are offering, follow us on Facebook.


    BorrowBox - Hertfordshire Libraries online library service!

    Our libraries may be closed but our online library is still open! All Hertfordshire Library members can access BorrowBox, allowing you to listen or read our online eBook and eAudiobook catalogue for free.

    We have new releases of children’s fiction, adult fiction, biographies and non-fiction titles available to download on your phone, tablet or laptop.

    For more information visit about how to access our online catalogue visit: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/books-and-reading/ebooks-and-audiobooks/ebooks-and-audiobooks.aspx

    Covid-19 Grants Available

    We have pulled together some of the specific Covid19 grants available, which may prove of benefit to our work with families:- 


    Herts Community Foundation have a Covid-19 grant fund which makes weekly allocations. The maximum grant has been increased from £2000 to £5000. More details can be found at https://www.hertscf.org.uk/coronavirus

    A number of Community Foundations and other organisations have launched funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Here you can find a list of organisations and the types of funding they have made available.

    Family Fund provides grants to low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people, and aims to improve their quality of life by paying for a wide range of items that can ease the daily pressure. Families in England can find out more and apply for grants from Family Fund directly at: https://www.familyfund.org.uk/

    Neighbourly have launched micro-grants of up to £400, to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the new Coronavirus outbreak.
    Please click here.
     
    John Lewis & Waitrose have launched a £1m Community Support Fund to be distributed by Waitrose shops to local communities and a support fund to aid staff facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic. Please click here.

    Sport England: Community Emergency Fund for those who are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000.To find out more click here.

    Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation: have adapted their grants programme to help Letchworth based groups and charities provide relief to the community during the COVID-19 emergency.

    Barclays:
    Barclays Launches £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package Find out more.

    Big Society Capital
    Big Society Capital is planning to launch an emergency loan fund for the sector. Around £100m is expected to be available and more details are still to be announced.Find out more here about Big Society Capital Funding.

    Standard Life Foundation:
    The Standard Life Foundation has launched funding for work directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. Grants will be made to organisations which tackle financial problems and improve living standards for those on low-to-middle incomes in the UK. Find out more about Standard Life Foundation.

    Tesco:
    Tesco Bags of Help have launched a Covid-19 Communities Fund. Organisations that support vulnerable groups will be encouraged to apply for a grant of £500 to support organisational need in this time of crisis rather than fund specific projects. For further information click here.

    The Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme will award small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response Covid-19 pandemic. Click here for information

    The RAFT (Rapid Action by The Fore Trusts) programme has been launched to support small charities and social enterprises adversely affected by the crisis with grants up to £5000.Click here for information

    The Home Office has announced a further £8 million of funding to help vulnerable EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for the 2020-2021 financial year. 

    The new £8 million of funding will ensure that those who are the most vulnerable continue to receive a wide range of support online, over the phone and in person to help them apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

     

     Also please remember to take a look at our very useful grants page on our Families First Portal

    Links for Mental Health and General Wellbeing

    We have pulled together all the good links we have received for mental health and general wellbeing during this period. You will also find many good links in the Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during Coronavirus : Information for Children and Young People

    Chathealth School Nursing texting service and the Health for Teens website. As part of our remaining services, during the Covid -19 pandemic, Chathealth offers support, advice and guidance to 11-19 year olds. They can text us from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday and a School Nurse is operating the line during those times and they will get a response on that day, usually within the hour.

     


    The new JUST TALK website provides a host of useful information to YP families and professionals during COVID 19: https://www.justtalkherts.org/news/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus.aspx

    Many of the JustTalk partner organisations have been busy creating new resources, and online training modules in response to COVID 19. Here are some highlights from this week:

    PUBLIC HEALTH - Hertfordshire Support for Families, CYP and Adults in Hertfordshire and beyond - Nutrition and Activity

    The OLLIE FOUNDATION – Online Training Schedule - includes fun, upbeat wellbeing programmes for teens, through to pandemic anxiety specific sessions and suicide prevention training for adults.

    MIND IN MID HERTS -  Spot the signs and emotional wellbeing webinar , with many additional free webinar sessions taking place – full schedule: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/hertfordshire-mind-network-26443271185

    BOUNCE FORWARD - are holding regular sessions for parents to build vital skills to help their children be more resilient during this uncertain time.  To book visit: https://bounceforward.com/raising-resilience-free-session/


    Healthy Young Minds in Herts

    The below website has a Professionals, Schools, Parents/ Carers and Young Persons section.  The schools section requires a log in and includes key training slides, lesson plans, resources, video clips, a Mental Health Leads toolkit and information about the Whole School & College Approach to Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health kitemark accreditation which is part of our ongoing offer to all Hertfordshire schools. COVID Pages have open access please see key links below. 

    The website is updated on a regular basis in the current context


    The Strategic Leads for Mental Health in Schools (represented by E&N Herts CCG and HVCCG) and colleagues from Public Health and Education Psychology  have sent a letter to all Hertfordshire schools giving lots of helpful links that focus on how we can all look after our mental health and emotional wellbeing during this time. We are aware that you have already been provided with significant medical and practical advice on how to manage the virus pandemic within your setting and therefore the below links focusses on looking after mental health and emotional wellbeing.

    Download the school letter here


    Mental Health Services

    The wide range of support for people who have mental health concerns includes:
    · Herts Help – a signposting and advice service which can help direct people to the right support - 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net
    · Hertfordshire Mind Network crisis helpline – 01923 256 391
    · NHS HPFT’s Single Point of Access - for people in a mental health crisis who live in Hertfordshire - 0300 777 0707 from 8am – 7pm, 01438 843322 out of hours or email: hpft.spa@nhs.net
    · Samaritans - 116 123, 24 hours a day, every day
    · The national NHS ‘Every Mind Matters’ website has expert advice and practical tips for people experiencing anxiety, low mood and sleep problems - https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/


    Herts Mind Network

    Please see the current timetable and support services for anyone struggling with their mental health.

    Their free one to one Peer Support service is also operating via telephone not face to face.

    They have offices in Letchworth, Borehamwood, Watford, Hemel, Waltham Cross, Bishops Stortford and Borehamwood. They offer support to anyone living in Hertfordshire.


    Mind in Mid Herts

    Are now able to offer FREE living well courses to the people of Hertfordshire via zoom. You do not need to be an existing service user or be diagnosed with a mental health problem to access- anyone can attend. The next lot of courses are:

    More information and if you would like to refer someone please click this link to book on:

    https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/support-for-you/digital-courses/


    Mindfulness

    We are also offering FREE mindfulness to all health and social workers during this time, there are two slots a day (8:30am- 9am and 4:30pm- 5pm) and you can book as many as you like ​- please click here to register:

    https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/training-and-consultancy/corporate-training-2/6762-2/

    For more links to useful mindfulness apps please visit our previous newsletter

    Links for Home Schooling, Learning, games etc

    We have been sent several very useful resource links which can help with home schooling, we hope you find the following links of benefit for your families:-


    With many school staff and Early Years practitioners currently supporting pupils and their families at home and online, the HfL Wellbeing team have brought forward the publication of the summer term School Staff and Parents and Carers HfL Online Safety Newsletters. Both newsletters feature a wealth of helpful links, guidance, news and updates which we hope would be of help to your readers, especially at this time

    Newsletter 1 - School Staff

    Newsletter 2 - Parents and Carers


    Hertfordshire’s website for families of young people aged 0 - 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has learning resources and materials to help your child at home on the Hertfordshire Local Offer

    With children and young people out of education settings, families may be needing a bit of extra help to keep their child’s education progressing, or just to keep them entertained. The Local Offer, Hertfordshire’s website for families of young people aged 0 - 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), has a resources area where parents and families can find materials they can use to help their child learn key skills. The resources area specifically looks to support those families whose child has an additional need, but it can be used by any family, and may have certain educational activities that can help any pupil to develop a skill they may be struggling with.

    The resources area includes:

    • Activity sheets and ideas provided by the Specific Learning Difficulties team, which can help progress in key areas including writing, memory, numbers and spelling
    • Practical help for children who are struggling with their mental health, either as a result of COVID-19 or more generally
    • Help with explaining COVID-19 to younger children and young people with autism, including social stories and easy read documents
    • Materials which help young people to develop their independence, including cooking activities
    • Lots of fun ideas for your children to do independently or as a family at home to encourage them to explore and use their imagination

    Find it all at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/SENDresources and do let your families know if you feel it would benefit them.


    FREE home learning resources for ALL schools

    Real PE at home is an online learning resource which is FREE during the school closure. It includes a programme specifically for children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 with 12 themes, 6 areas, over 250 activities and challenges and 1000s of hours of fun and activity for every family. This programme is great for keeping families active. It also includes a programme for children in Key Stage 2, with daily and weekly guidance provided for both programmes in addition to an option to choose their own themes and activities.

    To receive your login details to share with your families click here <https://createdevelopment.cmail19.com/t/i-l-xiihdkk-jtuhiujhty-j/>.

    If you would like more information to ensure your primary schools are prepared to support your pupils with solutions for home learning, please do not hesitate to contact us at jasmine@createdevelopment.co.uk

    ALL primary schools and families can receive free access.

    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR FREE


    Parent guide for positive parenting during covid-19

    The new Triple P Guide for Positive Parenting During COVID-19 (0-12 age) can be shared with parents as a self-help tool, or used by practitioners when introducing the Principles of Positive Parenting.

    • Helps parents respond to their child’s concerns related to COVID-19, understand the importance of self-care, and use practical strategies to keep the home environment calm and predictable.
    • Written specifically for COVID-19 by Triple P founder Professor Matt Sanders and his colleague Dr Vanessa Cobham, internationally recognised expert in child and adolescent anxiety and post-traumatic mental health.
    • Now available as a FREE digital download on Triple P provider and parent websites.

    NOTE: The current guide is aimed at parents of 0-12’s, our Teen Triple P guide for positive parenting during COVID-19 is in development will be available on the Provider Network shortly



    Family Learning and Activity resources

    CHEXS have created a very useful resource for parents and carers to entertain children or young people at home over the coming weeks.

    There are educational links for learning, games and family activities to do together all organised in a simple and clear way to easily find what you are looking for.

    We have categories for:

    • Secondary aged Young People
    • Primary Children and younger
    • Games and activities for any ages
    • Awards to try
    • Internet safety videos to watch together

    Please share with your colleagues, friends and family and let CHEXS help you at this difficult time.

    https://www.chexs.co.uk/our-services/learning-and-activities-resource/

    Links for Keeping Active and Eating Healthy

    We have put together a few useful links which you may wish to use/share with families you are working with to help maintain a healthy diet keep active during this restrictive period:-

    Eating Healthy

    BeeZee Bodies

    The commissioned tier 2 weight management service in the county is continuing to run sessions for children (between 5-15) and their families via webinars. Families will need to sign up to the service either by referral from a professional or self-referral and will be given all the instructions once they speak to a staff member.

    Webinars are group based and offer interaction with other families, activities during the session, and the chance to ask questions. Free 1-2-1 virtual appointments with a nutritionist are available for families who have already completed the BeeZee Families service or are interested in signing up and are available on Tuesday afternoons. 

    Recipes, blog posts, healthy tips, behaviour change strategies, cooking videos, and physical activity ideas for kids and adults are all available on the BeeZee Bodies website as well as their social media pages which are updated multiple times a week. 
    https://beezeebodies.com

    BZ have started uploading some cupboard/freezer based recipes on their page and videoing them. These are very short and easy to follow too. This first one makes use of chickpeas.

    Here is the first one https://beezeebodies.com/blog/recipe-chana-masala/

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/beezeefamilies/

    Link for 1-2-1 bookings: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/BZ121Clinics@beezeebodies.co.uk/bookings/


    British Dietetic Association (BDA)

    Cooking at home with children and top tips as to how to involve children at different ages. Some information provided here:

    https://www.bda.uk.com/food-health/lets-get-cooking/recipes.html

    https://www.bda.uk.com/food-health/lets-get-cooking/cooking-at-home.html

    https://www.bda.uk.com/food-health/lets-get-cooking/cooking-at-home/cooking-with-children-of-different-ages.html


    Staying Active

    Herts Sports Partnership

    The Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership have been compiling lots of practical resources to help the community stay physically and mentally active at home over the last couple of weeks which we have called ‘Work Out From Home’ and is detailed here on our website https://sportinherts.org.uk/workoutfromhome/  

    This is being added to daily to try and keep recourses fresh for those using the pages.

    Also have the Hertfordshire School Games Organisers (SGOs) making the children’s page and this is titled Be HAPPY.


    Sport England - Stay In Work Out

    A movement of people around England finding new ways to get moving in and around the home, powered by Sport England. Lots of information available online for activity videos and ideas all collated by Sport England.

    https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout/


    Change for Life – Indoor Activities

    Get active at home – lots of ideas for children and families

    Simple recipes for families

    https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities/indoor-activities

    https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes


             

     

     

     

    Hertfordshire united against coronavirus

    #TeamHerts Volunteering is a countywide Hertfordshire service providing information for individuals who want to volunteer and for charities or similar organisations who are looking to recruit and manage volunteers. The countywide effort to ensure the extremely vulnerable can self-isolate for twelve weeks has seen the food pack distribution process working well and continued over the Easter weekend. We are now delivering circa 300 food parcels a day to individuals. We are also meeting bulk requests for food supplies and are delivering packs of food and essentials to Foodbanks, hostels and other agencies.

    Operation Shield is the countywide project to support the 20,000+ people in Hertfordshire that will be getting a letter from the NHS telling them to have no face-to-face contact for 12 weeks. Some of these people will not have support from family or friends and so we will be prioritising to get them food and essential medication.

    Operation Sustain aims to mobilise residents and the voluntary sector to support anyone that has been affected by coronavirus, is self-isolating and/or vulnerable but who have not received a letter from the NHS.

    • Residents, services and community groups who would like to volunteer can visit or call Herts Help on 0300 123 4044. #TeamHerts Volunteering, which includes all of the local Community Voluntary Service (CVS) hubs, is being promoted as Hertfordshire’s official volunteering network.
    • Residents who are self-isolating and in need of support from volunteers can click herevisit their webiste, email or call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044

    For Financial Advice

    • A useful article of what to do if your income is affected by Covid19 can be downloaded here

    Referral links for professionals and volunteers

    A very useful referral document for professionals and volunteers can be downloaded here.

    Difference we're making

    Good News Stories and Feedback

    It has been so lovely to receive so many good news stories and feedback on the great work that has been taking place across the county. Below are just a few examples of the positive work taking place:-

    Let's Get Cooking - Cook in a Bag Activity Idea

    Along with regular food parcels the teams are delivering a popular activity which they have named "Cook in a Bag" whereby ingredients and an easy to follow recipe are delivered weekly. The children are loving it! Recipes so far have included tuna and salmon fishcakes and Nemo rice. Here's a few of the photos of the children enjoying and being creative with healthy food:-

    Welwyn Hatfield Intensive Family Support Team have been delighted from the support they have received from Morrisons who have made regular donations on food parcels.


    Activity Packs and Lending Library

    The Intensive Family Support Teams have been busy preparing weekly activity packs and running a toy lending library with kind donations and lots of cleaning and sanitising taking place!


    One of our Intensive Family Support Managers, has taken time out of her personal time to write and illustrate a very helpful little story for parents and carers to share with their children. This can be downloaded here.

    It is designed to help parents explore together the variety of emotions which they may all be feeling during the current situation. It is important to recognize that many of these are completely natural and understandable feelings. That being said, sometimes feelings can become overwhelming and both adults and children may express these strong emotions in ways that can be harmful to themselves or others. The hope of this book is that it will provide an opportunity to encourage children to discuss their feelings with parents help and support, to find healthier, safer and more helpful ways of experiencing and expressing these emotions


    For more good news stories and examples of good practice please visit our previous edition

    You may find this infographic interesting which shows some of the benefits of virtual meetings ….

    Local area news

    St Albans and Dacorum District Bulletin

    St Albans and Dacorum - News Bulletin

    Updated May 2020

    We are collating the updates we receive for the services into district bulletins. If you would like to include your service update/news for this area please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk and please put "Newsletter update" in the subject box, thank you.

    For countywide updates, please also visit our Partner Updates page.


    Hertfordshire Family Centre - Family Support, St Albans

    • St Albans Family Support Team are currently offering telephone and email support. We are continuing to accept referral for most of our packages of support that are able to be delivered over the phone if the family are in agreement. If the family would prefer to wait until staff can deliver the support on a face to face basis we can offer wellbeing calls, weekly or more frequently if they would prefer. We are also able to offer an Emergency Response package which means that rather than delivering a specific support package we can pick out elements of different packages to meet the families immediate needs. The Early Start team are continuing to provide telephone support with breastfeeding, introducing solid food and they are facilitating baby sing and play sessions through Zoom. These are bookable through Eventbrite but there are some targeted spaces for our more vulnerable parents. We are able to signpost families for support with shopping, collecting medication, accessing foodbanks, wellbeing etc.
    • The Family Support Team are currently organising a Family Toolkit Course to be facilitated via Zoom.
    • We have resources we can email out to families and talk through with them over the phone, to support with routines, boundaries and behaviour, emotional wellbeing or activities they can use to keep their children busy while they are not in school.

    We continue to work closely with our PHN colleagues and are having weekly Family Matters meetings to ensure regular communication between our services


    Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust : Public Health Nursing, Dacorum & St Albans Quadrant

    Public Health Nursing is currently working to new guidelines from NHS England and so we are prioritising new births and Safeguarding work only. We offer clients virtual consultations by phone or by the Attend Anywhere platform initially to explain about our service offer during Covid 19 and book a triage call with the mother at 10 -14 days post birth. This lasts for approx. 40 mins and then we arrange a brief 15 minute home visit to assess the mother and baby only.

    For Safeguarding families we continue with monthly virtual consultations and only offer short home visits if there is a health issue that needs monitoring.

    Our staff wear PPE on all home visits.

    We are not running any baby clinics or group sessions at the moment. All the 1 and 2 year reviews have been cancelled. The Preparing for Baby course has been recorded virtually and parents can access this via the Eventbrite link given out by Midwifery. They then get access to the usual 3 sessions we offered on the face to face courses, and can watch the sessions on line at their convenience.

    We have increased our PHN staff who are manning our duty line so we can respond to parents calls quickly. Please note our Professionals line number and the 0300 FCS number is only open from 9-5pm Monday to Friday, currently at the moment.

    We continue to make referrals to our Family centre partners and other professionals as required to support our families


    YC Hertfordshire - St Albans and Dacorum Team

    The Youth Work Team have responded brilliantly to the challenges of Covid-19 and the challenges it has presented. With such an abrupt end to our face to face contact in our centres for young people and youth projects the team set about contacting all young people to offer regular 1;1 catch up meetings to maintain contact.. We have therefore, been able to maintain meaningful contact with the most vulnerable and the most challenging young people across our double district.

    Across the double district team we have continued to use Twitter, WhatsApp, as well as the more traditional telephone and text.

    The team have just launched a new Instagram account: yc.dacorumstalbans and this is growing daily, not just among young people but through other support groups such as Hectors House (a signposting charity, with the aim to stop suicide and the stigma around mental health).

    We expect to see more referrals for young people showing signs of anxiety as this lockdown continues and we will support accordingly.

    We are also now tasked with the return home interview for young people who are classed as missing, which allows colleagues from SASH (formerly Targeted Youth Support) and Intensive Families Support Team (IFST) to concentrate other work tasks

    We have also maintained contact with partners i.e. Police to look at how we can help ensure the themes of social distancing are continually conveyed to young people.

    We have received great feedback for the work we have done currently from young people, parents, partners, and elected members and we will continue to provide the best service to all young people who need us in these difficult times.

    The IAG WRL team are working closely with schools to offer support to students throughout COVID-19 via phone and video calling. The team have worked hard to put a provision in place for schools  in St Albans and Dacorum and are making follow up calls to all year 11’s in the double district area including those who have EHCPs and who are receiving additional wellbeing phone calls. 

    We are also developing promotional material including a text message service for young people, parent/carers and schools to use during COVID-19 where they can access advice and guidance from a qualified personal advisor.

    The team are also delivering a fantastic virtual pathways programme for young people who have been identified as at risk of not being in education, employment or training or those are currently NEET.

    We have received some fantastic feedback from young people, professionals and parents carers during this time and will continue to work hard to provide support to young people during this challenging time.


    Citizens Advice

    To comply with measures to prevent transmission of Covid 19 Citizens Advice St Albans District has suspended face-to-face advice services in the St Albans Civic Centre, as well as outreach services in Harpenden, Redbourn, London Colney and Wheathampstead, until further notice.

    BUT WE ARE STILL HELPING BY PHONE

    There are a number of ways people can continue to get advice during this time.

    1. Call 01727 811118, advisers are waiting to provide advice, from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday and 10-1 Friday.
    2. Visit www.castad.org.uk for local webchat and email advice
    3. Call Hertfordshire Adviceline service, on 03444 111 444, or 03000 3300 650 from a mobile.
    4. Visit the Citizens Advice website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ for advice and to chat online to an adviser
    5. Get help with a new claim for Universal Credit by calling the Universal Credit Help to Claim line on 0800 1448444.
    6. Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133, or chat online to an advisor on our website, for advice on consumer issues (e.g. issues related to products or services you've purchased).

    SAHWR  

    We will endeavour to minimise the impact on our clients by implementing the following service continuity arrangements.

    1. Referrals and Advice: The Gateway remains open for referrals to our service
    2. Admissions: All potential admissions to refuge will continue as long as we have space, it meets referral criteria, and the potential client is not displaying symptoms, has not returned from an affected area, and as long as the accommodation remains virus free. Referrals go through the Gateway as usual.
    3. Community: All our existing clients are receiving on-going support by phone. Existing clients have the contact number for their worker New referrals will receive support and advice and can be referred through the Gateway.
    4. Programmes: All Triple R programmes have been suspended until further notice. New referrals are being taken and these clients will receive telephone support and advice until the programmes resume.

      Contacts:

      • Managers Liz Perry 07501 150068 lizperry@sahwr.org.uk
        Gateway 0330 102 5811
        Sara Jackson: 07501 492063 sarajackson@sahwr.org.uk

      Please use the normal e mail addresses to Managers. They will be available during their normal working hours.

      We appreciate that this is an evolving situation and therefore will continue to communicate any further changes to partners and colleagues as they arise.


      Caring Dads Programme

      Due to the Covid-19 crisis and current lockdown / social distancing rules, HACRO’s normal delivery of the Caring Dads programme will be temporarily suspended as from 1st May. Any enquiries or referrals received after this date will be filed for processing once ‘normal’ service is resumed. Our hope is that we may restart our courses from September 20. In the meantime HACRO is looking into the possibility of delivering a Helpline service for dads. Once it is ready it will be advertised on the HACRO website – hacro.org.uk - and the Herts Parenting Directory. Given reduced staffing it would be appreciated that you do not contact the HACRO office direct for information until such time as the website indicates that the Helpline service is up and running. I will contact you all again once I return from my furlough to resume the regular work on the main Caring Dads programme.


      DWP

      DWP have nationally received an increase in claims of 1.5 million since March, with a decreasing workforce, due to the coronavirus situation, there has been a call for everyone to upskill and change job role to process claims. We have 10,000 corporate colleagues also training to process claims to deal with the huge increases we are receiving. We have also established an amazing turnaround in deploying IT to our colleagues working from home.

      We have streamlined the claiming process, to make it easier for our claimants to verify their ID and be able to apply for an advance payment on their claim.

      All of our processes have been updated to accommodate the situation using a “Trust and Protect” system of verifying evidence over the phone.

      Claimant Commitments have been switched off for the time-being as we are not expecting our claimants to be looking for work due to the isolation and social distancing guidelines. This situation will be reviewed accordingly and we hope to be in a better place soon to start looking at further support for our claimants and using the digital services of our providers and partners.

      We have increased UC awards by £20 per month for a year to help our claimants financially, this is an increase in addition to the annual increase.

      In these challenging times we have been able to achieve 93% of payments on time and in full.


      DSPL

      DSPL 8 would like to thank all staff in our school settings for their continued care and support for children and families of Dacorum in the midst of COVID-19. The impact of juggling work commitments and having children at home makes this a particularly challenging time. Staff are invited to attend a series of six virtual sessions to support you to help your own children build resilience to deal with uncertainty whilst staying alert and adapting to new routines during this unprecedented period.

      For more information and to book your place, please click on the following link - https://bounceforward.com/raise-resilience-dacorum-professional-parents/ alternatively you can click on the link on the PDF flyer via ‘Register Here’. These sessions are after half term, book now to secure your place.

      Watford and Three Rivers Bulletin

      Watford and Three Rivers - News Bulletin

      Updated May 2020

      We are collating the updates we receive for the services into district bulletins. If you would like to include your service update/news for this area please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk and please put "Newsletter update" in the subject box, thank you.

      For countywide updates, please also visit our Partner Updates page.


      Three Rivers District Council

      The latest bulletin for Three Rivers. Hope you’re all finding these useful, and as always, older bulletins can be found https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/partnerships


      Watford and Three Rivers, Family Centre Service - Family Support Service

      We remain committed to the ongoing delivery of family support services. The Family Support Team continue to deliver tailor made packages of support on a 1:1 basis with families via telephone calls and accompanying resources which are emailed to families to support discussions. Professionals and parents can continue to submit referrals via the following website: https://www.hertsfamilycentres.org/professionals-area/family-centre-professionals-area.aspx We encourage professionals to contact the Team Leader prior to completing a referral form to discuss support (please contact 0300 123 7572 and ask to speak to the Family Support Team Leader)

      The Early Start team are still delivering sessions, albeit in a different way, though Facebook Live videos for Rhyme Time, Baby Sing & Play and Story Time sessions – search “Watford & Three Rivers Family Centre Service”.  Other important information is also posted daily, as well as on our Instagram page “hertswatford3riversfcs”. We continue to offer 1:1 Breastfeeding and Introduction to Solids advice via calling 0300 123 7572, where families are directed to a qualified member of the team for support.  Referrals can still be made via the website above for any emerging needs work with families.


      Shape Up is a 12 week FREE weight loss course aimed at men aged 18-65 who have a BMI of 30+.

      The course starts May 2020 virtually through ZOOM and advises men on simple lifestyle changes they can make to help lose weight in a safe, friendly way. There will be afternoon and evening classes and all exercises will be suitable to do at home.

      If you know of anyone who could benefit from this course then contact Rhys Ratcliffe at rhys.ratcliffe@watfordfc.com now to secure your place.

       


      East Herts and Broxbourne Bulletin

      Updated May 2020

      We are collating the updates we receive for the services into district bulletins. If you would like to include your service update/news for this area please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk and please put "Newsletter update" in the subject box, thank you.

      For countywide updates, please also visit our Partner Updates page.


      YC Hertfordshire support for young people in Broxbourne, East Herts & Welwyn Hatfield

      YC

      With face-to-face support work currently suspended following the government’s instruction to remain at home in order to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, YC Hertfordshire youth workers and personal advisers have responded by maintaining contact with vulnerable young people referred to the service and those who were attending projects and were on caseloads. The teams are working with schools and partners to ensure young people, especially vulnerable young people who are at increased risk due to restrictions at this unprecedented time, still have access to support.

      In Broxbourne, East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield our teams of youth workers and personal advisers have continued to offer phone and online support, recording over 2000 communications with young people in the past month to provide advice and guidance on a range of topics, including emotional wellbeing and managing anxiety, bullying, sexual health, managing finances and budgeting, independent living, exploring career options, applying for college and apprenticeships, and helping GCSE and A ‘Level students navigate through these uncertain times.

      Online youth projects

      As well as individual 1-1 support, we are now delivering a range of online group projects via virtual sessions on Microsoft Teams for young people in Broxbourne, East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield. Project details and times are published online here:

      Broxbourne Online Projects

      East Herts Online Projects

      Welwyn Hatfield Online Projects

      Further online projects will be offered in response to the referrals we are receiving.

      How to refer young people

      If you would like to refer a young person to receive our support please complete the online referral form, and if you would wish to discuss a referral or any of our services for young people in Broxbourne, East Herts or Welwyn Hatfield please call 01992 588220.

      Useful Information to distribute to young people

      Attached is a pdf we have produced for young people, one for each district/borough, which includes:

      • Details of online projects they can join in their local area
      • Tips for looking after emotional wellbeing and physical health
      • Tips for keeping safe online
      • How they can start planning for their futures and access YC Hertfordshire services to support them with this

      I have also included a pdf of careers resources that will be particularly relevant for young people aged 14-18.

      I would be grateful if partners could distribute these to your young people, colleagues and also parents who might find it useful.

      YC Hertfordshire Text Service for Young People in Broxbourne, East Herts & Welwyn Hatfield

      Young people aged 13-19 can text ‘SUPPORT’ with their name and age to 07860 065173 to speak with a trained youth worker about any worries or concerns they have, or text ‘CAREERS’ to talk with a personal adviser and work through their future plans. Young people will receive a response from one of our team.

      Please do raise awareness of this new service with your young people and other colleagues.


      CHEXS are still here to support you in these uncertain times.

      • Family Support 1:1 sessions
        • 26 families contacted last week with support and advice
        • 22 Foodbank parcels distributed in the last 3 weeks
      • Self Esteem team continue to mentor and support the children and young people we work with.
        • 140 children contacted with support and advice last week
        • 6 video calls last week continuing our amazing mentoring sessions.
      • Links to home learning resources given,

      The CHEXS team are available to speak to for help, support and advice.

      CHEXS main email - admin@chexs.co.uk

      Main Phone number - 07970 498966

      Family Support Lead - FSL@chexs.co.uk

      Self Esteem Team Lead - juliec@chexs.co.uk

      Download the CHEXs newsletter here


      Family Centres : Update from Family Support Service

      During these times of uncertainty, we hope that you and your teams are keeping well.

      As with many services across Hertfordshire, we too have reviewed our usual ways of working to ensure the health and safety of our teams and the families we support. 

      We are however continuing to offer our services to families, with some small tweaks to how the 1:1 and group support is delivered – therefore, our referral pathway remains unaffected at this time.

      Some of the changes that we have made include:

      • We are now providing the support, advice and guidance through telephone and video-calling where possible.
      • A new response approach has been developed for parents who are experiencing the most challenging situations at this time.
      • We are providing digital material on our Facebook and Instagram pages for ALL families to access at a time that suits them, such as home learning ideas and activities, Story Times and Rhyme Time sessions.  Families will just need to follow our pages.
      • Some families are receiving Parenting Group support through Zoom sessions, with more planned for the future.
      • Key information such as ‘Preparing for Baby’ antenatal support and Introduction to Solids advice and guidance is still available for families to access – they can book as usual through Eventbrite and will then be provided with details to our new platform where they can access the online video links. 
      • Families who were booked on to attend face to face sessions are being contacted directly to ensure that they receive the new online information
      • Future plans include developing digital material that supports all of our emerging needs offer, such as Early Talk and Oral Health.

      If you know of a family who would benefit from some support, please contact the relevant Team Leader or Manager, prior to completing the referral form to discuss the family’s needs and the support available - Phone: 0300 123 7572. Alternatively you can refer the family directly: https://www.hertsfamilycentres.org/professionals-area/family-centre-professionals-area.aspx


      Citizens Advice - We’re still here to help!

      If you need advice during the coronavirus outbreak, we’re still here to help. Whilst we’ve had to temporarily close our face to face service you can still contact us in a number of ways:

      For advice by email go to www.citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk/webadvice

       

      For phone advice please call 03444 111444 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (you may have to wait in a queue but we will get to you as soon as we can). Or you might find it easier to call 01920 459944 and leave a message so one of our advisers can get back to you.(Calls at local rate)

      You can also access information online at citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk

      1. We will do our very best to answer all calls and emails as quickly as we can but please bear with us as we manage high demand.

      Facebook – @EastHertsCitizensAdvice


      Please submit your update to familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk

      North Herts and Stevenage Bulletin

      Updated May 2020

      We are collating the updates we receive for the services into district bulletins. If you would like to include your service update/news for this area please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk and please put "Newsletter update" in the subject box, thank you.

      For countywide updates, please also visit our Partner Updates page.


      Local school partnership update

      Stevenage local school partnership have continued to support families and schools through out the lockdown. We have provided support at child in need and Child protection virtual meetings, we have continued to attend team around the family meetings virtually and complete FFA's where needed. We have also delivered many food parcels to families in hardship supported by Sainsburys and have continued to ring and support families and school staff during this time. It is of course a very uncertain time and we have been there as a source of information and support to both families and partners going forward we are conscious that there are many families that are suffering during this time and that mental health will be very much at the forefront as a consequence.


      The Living Room

      Its business as usual for us at The Living Room – the only change is that the group sessions are held via ZOOM and not in person.  Group numbers are steady and for those that cannot join via the internet, we are providing telephone support, often on a daily basis.  We plan to continue with this arrangement until advised that contact restrictions are eased.

      We are holding between six and nine group counselling sessions daily, facilitated by counsellors from each of our three staff teams that were originally based in Stevenage, St Albans and Watford.

      While we did have to close our doors for a few weeks to new clients, our triage service is fully up and running to welcome all new clients into our service.  Please call 0300 365 0304 or complete the referral form; https://www.livingroomherts.org/referral  A dedicated triage counsellor will contact the individual and complete the initial assessment, via telephone or ZOOM.  If the client meets our criteria, they are then handed over to a key worker, who has experience and specialism in the identified addiction.  There is an expectation that all new clients will join established group counselling sessions via ZOOM.

      As we are aware that some clients are experiencing increased stress on their relationships during this time, from June all of our clients will have an opportunity to join RELATE facilitated relationship sessions or 1 to 1 counselling, in addition to the daily group sessions.  Please note this opportunity is only open to clients that are attending The Living Room.

      Our crèche – usually only available to Stevenage clients, has opened their vital doors to support all clients with children aged up to 12 years old.  The staff facilitated two sessions on each Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a variety of activities including craft ideas, cooking, yoga, action signing to name but a few.  This service is also provided during school holidays.

      We provide regular email communications to clients and supporters via our SHOUT OUT and we put our updates on social media @LivingRoomHerts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) and our website www.livingroomherts.org.  Please sign up to received your updates via our website.

      During the first week of June we will be celebrating Volunteers Week by running a media campaign, publishing short video clips from staff, expressing the positive impact volunteers achieve during their time with us.

      Welwyn Hatfield & Hertsmere Bulletin

      Updated May 2020

      We are collating the updates we receive for the services into district bulletins. If you would like to include your service update/news for this area please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk and please put "Newsletter update" in the subject box, thank you.

      For countywide updates, please also visit our Partner Updates page.


      Coming soon!

      Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life