Families First News

Front page - Welcome

Welcome Message

Dear Partners and colleagues,

As our services continue to adapt whilst lockdown is gradually lifted it has been good to look at some of the positives that are coming out of this period and one which has been highlighted at many meetings is the benefits we have all seen from partnership working. Services have really come together and supported each other in the common goal of supporting families through this challenging time.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we have divided the many updates we are receiving into the following area bulletins, as well as keeping our countywide partner news updated, these can be viewed here:-

East Herts and Broxbourne

St Albans and Dacorum

Watford and Three Rivers

Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere

North Herts and Stevenage

Partner Service Updates - Countywide

 

Don't forget to take a look at our Good News stories and visit our previous issues for our pages with tips on home schooling, mindfulness and general wellbeing to keeping healthy and active.

We are continuing to update our grants page with any Covid19 related grants we become aware of.

Please continue to send in your service updates and we will aim to update you regularly with combined partnership news.

Best wishes from the Families First Development Team

The latest news

Free Training on Universal Credit

Hertfordshire County Council’s Money Advice Unit are delighted to announce that their first Universal Credit e-learning course is now available. We have developed it in partnership with Child Poverty Action Group, the UK’s leading benefits advice specialists.

The course can be accessed from www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/benefits

Click on the link on the right hand side of the page called ’courses for professionals – universal credit’.

The course is free and you can access this short, interactive learning from your tablet, phone, laptop or PC. The course takes about 30 – 40 minutes to complete. You can do it in one session or spread it over a time to suit yourself. 

Try this essential practical learning on financial support for working age adults and their families. Universal credit is a complete change to the benefit system for working age people. Through interactive quizzes and activities you will look at how universal credit works including:

  • who can get universal credit
  • amounts of universal credit
  • claiming universal credit
  • the claimant commitment
  • moving to universal credit

There are also resources to update you on changes to universal credit during the coronavirus outbreak, and links to local sources of support In Hertfordshire.

The course can be used by anyone who works with the public – council, NHS, voluntary sector or housing association. You can even make it available to members of the public.

We hope you enjoy our new e-learning course. Don’t forget to fill out our evaluation form when you have completed the course as we welcome your comments and feedback.


Touchbase

In addition you may be interested in Registering to receive the DWP Newsletter - Touchbase which is sent out each week to keep you up to date on changes. Please also view a letter from the Partnership Manager for Waltham Cross, Hatfield and Hertford Jobcentres which has some useful links.

Good practice example video and resource pack

The short video and activity pack links below were put together by Children’s Practitioners in Family Safeguarding at HCC. We thought this may be useful to partners working directly with families.

Download the resources below:-

Coronavirus Activity
Building a ‘Safe Network’
All About Me
House of worries, good things and dreams
Worker Only : Early Warning Signs
Worker Only : Support Hands
How do you feel today?
Label the Feelings Cards
I feel calm, safe and relaxed
I'm an Amazing Person Activity
Worker guidance session plan for direct work video session
My worry cloud
Letter to child
Happiness honeycomb
Hand template
Childrens Graded Care Profile - shorter activity

Fit, Fed and Read Update

Herts Sports Partnership are currently establishing a partnership with schools in each area (local to fire stations) to deliver the Fit, Fed and Read project in the summer. The aim is to run as close as possible to traditional delivery as the need for Fit, Fed and Read provision has been enervated by lockdown.

For more information on the Fit, Fed and Read programme and the referral process please visit :- https://sportinherts.org.uk/sport-for-social-change/fitfedread/#content

 

 

 

Good Campaign Posters

We have been sent a number of campaign posters which you may wish to download for your own services.

You can download the Know Look Act poster here.


Change, Grow, Live are currently posting a series of helpful messages aimed at non-dependent drinkers who (due to isolation and anxiety under lockdown) may be drinking increasingly more and earlier on during the day.

Our decision to focus on alcohol has been motivated by recent findings by Alcohol Change UK: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/blog/2020/covid19-drinking-during-lockdown-headline-findings.

/assets/1/helpful_alcohol_messages_during_lockdown_2020-2.pdf


You can download the below Sunflower leaflet here

Partner Service Update

Below are updates from countywide HCC teams and Partners, please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk if you would like to include your service on this page. (for local updates please visit the Local Update Pages)

Domestic Abuse Services
Family Centres
YC Hertfordshire
Health Visitors
Parenting Together Support Programme
Citizens Advice
Drug and Alcohol Services
Herts Sports Partnership
Money Advice
Mental Health Services
Gambling addiction
Libraries
Families in Focus
Family Lives
Carers in Hertfordshire


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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

  • YC Herts will be starting detached youth work again focusing on supporting those young people vulnerable to exploitation and becoming involved gangs.  This is an area where activity appears to have dropped during lock down but will undoubtedly emerge again in the coming months.

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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

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Herts Sports Partnership

We are currently establishing a partnership with schools in each area (local to fire station) to deliver the Fit, Fed and Read project in the summer. The aim is to run as close as possible to traditional delivery as the need for FFR provision has been enervated by lockdown.

 

The referral process is now open at the following link:- https://sportinherts.org.uk/sport-for-social-change/fitfedread/#content

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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.

CAB have just today launched a short access survey online (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XBM3Y39) to help us plan for future delivery.  We're keen to understand whether people's access needs have changed in light of Covid so we can plan future service delivery. 

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Herts Sports Partnership

HSP are establishing a partnership with schools in each area (local to fire station) to deliver the Fit, Fed and Read project in the summer. The referral process is now live. The aim is to run as close as possible to traditional delivery as the need for FFR provision has been enervated by lockdown.

Please visit the link for more information

https://sportinherts.org.uk/sport-for-social-change/fitfedread/#content

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Drug and Alcohol Support

CGL Spectrum coronavirus response update 31-03-2020

A quick reminder that we are displaying local updates for people that use our service here: www.changegrowlive.org/spectrum-hertfordshire-drug-alcohol-services. And you can still call (0800 652 3169) and email us during normal opening hours (Herts@cgl.org.uk) keep in touch!

We are continuing to…

1. Offer 1-1s, appointments and other psychosocial support over the phone.

2. Accept new referrals and assess new clients as usual (over the phone)

3. Keep our Stevenage, Hertford, Watford and Hatfield hubs open Monday- Friday for needle exchange and office working

4. Look into practical alternatives so that we can hold groups remotely

5. Work hard to deliver safe storage boxes, naloxone take-home and other harm reduction resources to our vulnerable clients

6. Work in the Lister and Watford General Hospitals

Useful resources:

  • Breaking Free Online (the access code is herts11)
  • Apps and websites to help people with drug or alcohol problems: www.changegrowlive.org/advice-info/alcohol-drugs

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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

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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/

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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

 

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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.

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Mind in Mid Herts Service Update

Mind in Mid Herts are pleased to announce that they are providing another set of their online ‘Living Well’ Courses. These courses equip people with the understanding and tools that they need to manage their mental health in everyday life; covering how to deal with stress, anxiety, depression and sleep. Mind in Mid Herts’ Living Well courses are FREE to use and are run on Zoom over a four week period. For more information and to book onto the courses, visit their website: www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/training-and-workshops/courses-workshops/living-well/

We continue to take referrals and people can telephone 03303 208100 or self refer online www.mindinmidherts.org.uk

We have developed a program for social support on line. To access this service please go to our website or call 03303 208100

We have received funding that allows us to offer all our courses and workshops free of charge, people can register here https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/training-and-workshops/courses-workshops/living-well/ for:

  • Feeling well, to reduce feelings of depression and sadness
  • Building Courage, to manage anxiety
  • Learning to relax, coping with stress
  • Staying well at work
  • Sleep workshop

We also have free, live mindfulness sessions each day for our frontline workers and you can register if you are a carer, work in health, including pharmacies, social care, funeral directors and associated workforces that are supporting people in any way including as volunteers. Also included in this offer is the blue light services, please click on this link for more information - https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/home/training-support-for-front-line-workers/

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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.

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Families in Focus CIC

FREE 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.

Our courses are accredited by CANparent (certificates attached) as being evidence based and effective and we have a proven track record of delivering courses that have a positive effect on family life.

This means parents from anywhere in Herefordshire can now attend from the comfort of their own homes so do please share with parents, colleagues, schools and others who support parents across Hertfordshire.

A Complete Guide to Parenting Children with SEND course is free for all parents living in Hertfordshire and caring for primary aged children inclusive of those awaiting diagnosis or with a diagnosis of

all Special Education Needs, Autism, ADHD & Health Needs.

 

This course will provide parents with:

  • Greater knowledge and understanding of SEND language and acronyms
  • Greater understanding and answer the question, ‘Why does my child do that?’
  • A range of practical strategies to better manage behaviours that challenge.
  • Clearer understanding of anger triggers and strategies to reduce angry meltdowns.
  • Techniques to support siblings living with a sister/brother with additional
  • needs/challenging behaviours.
  • Communication techniques to reduce ‘emotional traffic jams’ and improve your
  • child’s emotional regulation
  • Tried and tested strategies to reduce conflict within your family
  • Understanding of the feelings & emotions of parenting children with special needs
  • Techniques to help manage family stress
  • Increased knowledge of the range of services and organisations that can support you and your family

Starting on June 4th for 10 sessions Book via Eventbrite for our online, virtual course: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/complete-guide-to-parenting-children-withsend-aged-2-11years-stevenage-tickets-98870088095 

6 Tuesday evenings 6.30pm to 8.30pm: June 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th & July 7th

Book via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/handling-anger-in-your-family-primary-agedchildren-tickets-98865546511

6 Wednesday evenings 6.30pm to 8.30pm: June 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & July 1st, 8th

Book via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/handling-anger-in-your-family-primary-agerdchildren-hemel-hempstead-tickets-98869825309

6 Wednesday afternoons 12pm to 2pm: June 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & July 1st, 8th

Book via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/handling-anger-in-your-familyprimary-agedchildren-stevenage-tickets-98865879507

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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/

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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.

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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

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Family Lives

Family Lives is a national support charity, providing help and advice to families who are going through a difficult time. Families contact us about all aspects of family life that include all stages of a child’s development, issues with schools and parenting/relationship support. We also respond when life becomes more complicated and provide support around family breakdown, aggression in the home, bullying, teenage risky behaviour and mental health concerns of both parents and their children. If you need support or advice, you can call us on our helpline on 0808 800 2222, email us at askus@familylives.org.uk or us at www.familylives.org.uk for our forum community, online advice or to register for our monthly newsletter. Follow us on social media @FamilyLives for news and updates

We are delivering free online parenting groups during Covid-19 to support parents. The groups, funded by Herts County Council, are aimed at parents of :

  • Pre Teens/Teens showing challenging behaviour and/or where there is a family first assessment, child in need or child protection plan
  • Children with ADHD

More information on the content is available here.

Our programme of groups due to start next week and our referral form are attached. Please send in password protected referrals to louisev@familylives.org.uk. Parents can book directly through eventbrite.co.uk/family-lives or by emailing louisev@familylives.org.uk.

The groups will be available through MS Teams for up to 6-8 parents for 6 weeks. We are running them early afternoon and in the evening to give greater flexibility for parents to be able to attend.

Can you please circulate this information to your teams and colleagues.

Please also note that our helpline and emails services are both operating normally - 0808 800 2222, askus@familylives.org.uk.

We are currently running an online group for Hertfordshire parents / carers and I wonder if you could add this to your website

Online group - Bringing up Confident Children for Parents of Children with ADHD

Monday 15th June to 20 July 7pm – 9pm

Our programme provides support, information and resources to parents/carers and adult family members so they can help their child reach their full potential. For further details and bookings please follow this link,  Family Lives online-group Bringing up Confident Children for Parents of Children with ADHD

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Carers in Hertfordshire - Young Carers Team

As a proactive response  to the COVID19 virus to ensure that young carers who need additional practical or emotional support at this time are informed and receive emotional support for their own health and wellbeing we are offering keeping in touch calls.  We have been targeting also Young Carers that are the primary carer, where there is no other adult in the family home other than the cared for. We have been making Keeping In Touch calls to these families.

Professionals can still make referrals and we are offering virtual carers assessments instead of home visits.  

Activities that we offer can be found on our website www.ycih.org  or   www.carersinherts.org.uk

Young Carers team will continue to work closely with carers and their families who are struggling at this time and need additional support from them and or other agencies.  

 

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.


The CVS Broxbourne and East Herts have produced a list of grants and funding opportunities available to organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The list is updated fortnightly and we will endeavour to provide the latest information but recommend you check the details online before beginning an application.

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.

Welwyn Hatfield Small Community Grant of up to £2000, which funds projects from a range of sectors including music, dance, drama, sport, youth and health, is extending financial support to those organisations that have a positive impact on the local community but have incurred costs or have not been able to operate, due to COVID-19


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.

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

Families First Covid-19 Response Update

Families First covid-19 response update - at 06/06/2020

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!

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.

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.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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

     

    Learning & development

    My Teen Brain - Online Dates

    Teen BrainMy Teen Brain Training Dates for Professionals 2020-2021

    My Teen Brain focuses on a key stage of brain development and shows how changes in the adolescent brain, in conjunction with experience and environment, can affect emotions, relationships, behaviours, sleep and attitudes to risk.  

    The initiative aims to raise awareness and provide practical information and strategies to professionals. Through training and a range of resources, the initiative will enable them to support young people through this time of change.

    Professionals working with either young adolescents (10-14) or their parents are invited to attend a free one-day multi-agency training which will look at changes to the adolescent brain, risks and behaviours and how the learning can help a strength based approach to practice.

    THIS FULL DAY TRAINING HAS BEEN ADAPTED TO BE DELIVERED LIVE ONLINE

    Dates available are:

    • Thursday 25th June 2020
    • Wednesday 8th July 2020
    • Tuesday 15th September 2020
    • Tuesday 29th September 2020

    You can book onto the free one-day training here.

    More Information on the changes that take place in the teen brain is available on our dedicated website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/myteenbrain.

     

    HSCP/HSAB Training Bulletin

    Details of the following courses can be found in this months bulletin

    • Safeguarding & Child Protection Multi-Agency Course
    • HSAB Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Awareness
    • Physical Abuse in Children (previously the ‘Bruising Lite Bite’)
    • Disguised Compliance & Avoidant Families
    • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups
    • Adverse ChildhoodExperiences (ACEs) –AnIntroduction; more courses coming soon

    Difference we're making

    Good News Stories and Feedback

    Positive and innovative ways of supporting families

    We have put together a screenshow to recognise all the positive work taking place across Families First. This screenshow highlights some of the innovative ways our Intensive Family Support Teams have stayed in contact with their families.


    We would like to say a massive thank you to all the volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help support families during this period. #TeamHerts have put together the celebration video below:-


    IFST Volunteers

    The East Herts & Broxbourne Intensive Family Support Team is making good use of its two fantastic volunteers, Janice and Andie, who started assisting the team in mid-May. The team has set up a lending library of indoor and outdoor toys, books, games and crafts. In addition to this, the team have created an IFST Resource pack of ideas of things to do during lockdown and making up activity packs to keep children occupied whilst they have been at home. The packs include making peg people, tissue paper NHS rainbows, dreamcatchers, cress heads and animal masks. Our volunteers have been working hard to photocopy IFST Resource packs, putting activity packs together and delivering/collecting lending library items.

     


    Supermarket donations for IFST families

    Fionna Ashdown, Family Support Worker within the East Herts & Broxbourne Intensive Family Support Team (IFST), has been working hard with our local Morrisons, Tesco and Asda supermarkets to arrange donations of items for families including books, toys and materials for our craft activities. Morrisons have generously agreed on a weekly basis to also provide selections of baking activities including brownies, American pancakes and cupcakes to decorate. They even provide the eggs! Tesco and Asda have kindly donated outdoor toys and equipment to support families in keeping active and getting outdoors including footballs, skipping ropes and bubble sets. Sainsburys provided a £50 voucher for toys and Iceland have offered toiletries, ice pops and baking kits. A big “thank you” from IFST and all the families that we support.


    The Little Singers Group

    Families across Berkhamsted, Tring and further afield are helping to raise much needed funds for three local charities, by attending free online baby and toddler signing sessions with Little Signers Club; South Herts. The aim of the campaign, which will run throughout the Lockdown period and beyond, is to help people feel connected, bring some familiarity and routine to little one’s days and give parents a friendly face and supportive group to regain a sense of belonging - whilst raising money for Open Door, Citizens Advice Dacorum, and BURPS Neonatal Department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

    Anyone wanting to join Little Signers Club; South Herts is welcome to contact Anna at anna@littlesignersclub.co.uk or visit https://www.littlesignersclub.co.uk/babysigning-berkhamsted-tring/ for information about class dates and times.


    Therapeutic books for children

    There is so much anxiety about at the moment, unsurprisingly, that families may be finding it hard to explain what is going on to their children. What can we offer that helps them all to deal with these unprecedented times?

    Please find a list of Hertfordshire Libraries on useful books for dealing with these difficult times. We hope they will be of help to the families you are in contact with.

    In addition, 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

     


    Please visit our previous Covid special newsletters for more good news stories,


    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

    • Dacorum Family Support Team are continuing to accept referrals for both targeted one to one work and for parenting programmes.  We are currently offering telephone and email support and are also looking into delivering our packages of work virtually using Microsoft Teams.
    • We are now accepting referrals for a virtual Family Toolkit, the first four week course starts on Wednesday 3rd June. This course is aimed at parents with 2-5 year olds. It gives ideas and strategies to manage behaviours including Praise, Choices and Consequences and Communication.
    • The Early Start team are continuing to provide telephone support with breastfeeding, introducing solid food and are facilitating Baby Sing and Play, Rhyme Time and Story sessions through Zoom. Families can also access Facebook Live and Instagram Live sessions. They will also be offering some targeted sessions on Zoom like Baby Massage, Early Talk and Little Learners. Families can be referred onto these with an emerging needs referral.
    • Both Family Support and Early start have been busy contacting all families that are registered with the Family Support Service to identify whether they need any support during this time and we have been signposting to relevant services.
    • 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 nursery or school.

    Our Facebook page is full of advice, ideas and sessions so keep an eye out.


    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.

    Download the St Albans and Dacorum leaflet here


    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 very information Three Rivers DC bulletin (and previous bulletins) can be found here 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.


      YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People - Watford and Three Rivers

      YCYC Hertfordshire is currently providing a wide range of online and telephone one-to-one and group support for young people. Referrals for support can be made via: https://www.ychertfordshire.org/about-yc-hertfordshire/make-a-referral/

      Young people; their parents/carers or professionals can also make contact by calling 0300 123 7538; via email at yc@hertfordshire.gov.uk or by texting 'SUPPORT' to 07860 065185

       

      A range of online Youth Work projects are running and will change according to need. Current ones (as at 20.5.20) are listed here but please see www.ychertfordshire.org for latest information.


      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.

      Download the East Herts leaflet here

      Download the East Herts information leaflet here which contains updates on:-

      • Summary of YC Hertfordshire online projects in East Herts
      • Tips for looking after emotional wellbeing and physical health
      • Tips for keeping safe online
      • How young people can start planning for their futures and access YC Hertfordshire services to support them with this

      Download the Broxbourne leaflet here

      Download the Broxbourne  information leaflet here which contains updates on:-

      • Summary of YC Hertfordshire online projects in East Herts
      • Tips for looking after emotional wellbeing and physical health
      • Tips for keeping safe online
      • How young people can start planning for their futures and access YC Hertfordshire services to support them with this

      DWP

      Please view a letter from Partnership Manager for Waltham Cross, Hatfield and Hertford Jobcentres which has some useful links

      Touchbase

      In addition you may be interested in Registering to receive the DWP Newsletter - Touchbase which is sent out each week to keep you up to date on changes. .


      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


      B3Living

      B3Living are keenly aware that many of our families have faced some very tough challenges during the Coronavirus outbreak, with social isolation and financial impacts, access to food and medication, affordable food now the shelves are stocked, the impact on family life during lockdown, home schooling, worries around employment, especially with a large number going onto Universal Credit and being furloughed and the impact on positive mental health as a result.

      We contacted our most vulnerable residents by phone at the outset of the pandemic, ensuring they all had access to support where needed, whether from Hertshelp, whether by way of food parcels, energy top-ups or medication deliveries, making referrals to the Foodbank and other agencies across the Borough.  B3Living have provided support and grants where essential household items were needed and have provided a number of cookers and fridges to households in need.

      Our staff continue to make daily calls to our elderly shielded residents, and support our residents within our sheltered Independent Living schemes to minimise social isolation, with our housekeepers and caretakers ensuring the cleaning of communal areas is kept to the highest standard.

      B3Living have maintained all of our services wherever possible (with the exception of non-essential repairs)  including neighbourhood and housing support, ensuring that our residents can pick the phone up and speak to a member of staff immediately, and can access relevant, up to date information and help to resolve issues or concerns, especially for those who were waiting for their Universal Credit claims to be processed. We have referred a number to financial support services, including the Citizens Advice Bureau with whom we have set up a telephone advice service and Turn 2 Us.

      We recognise that many of our residents will face uncertain times in the coming months, and we are working on a plan of support to identify help available from within our organisation, from our partner organisations and from within the community, particularly around positive mental health, financial and employment support, and digital inclusion.

      We also recognise the great work undertaken by the many organisations across the Borough during this time and the many volunteers who have stepped up to help, with a real sense of community spirit


      Mind in Mid Herts

      We continue to take referrals and people can telephone 03303 208100 or self refer online www.mindinmidherts.org.uk

      We have developed a program for social support on line. To access this service please go to our website or call 03303 208100

      We have received funding that allows us to offer all our courses and workshops free of charge, people can register here https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/training-and-workshops/courses-workshops/living-well/ for:

      • Feeling well, to reduce feelings of depression and sadness
      • Building Courage, to manage anxiety
      • Learning to relax, coping with stress
      • Staying well at work
      • Sleep workshop

      We also have free, live mindfulness sessions each day for our frontline workers and you can register if you are a carer, work in health, including pharmacies, social care, funeral directors and associated workforces that are supporting people in any way including as volunteers. Also included in this offer is the blue light services, please click on this link for more information - https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/home/training-support-for-front-line-workers/


      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.


      Home-Start Herts

      At Home-Start Herts we are continuing to support families through ‘phone visiting’ this means that every family referred to us is being supported through their volunteer and/or Volunteer Manager or Group Leader. Any family that had been referred but had not had an initial visit has also been offered this service. We have also contacted families that closed over the last 6 months to check in with them.

      Some families are getting on ok and appreciate a call every week to check in and have an opportunity to talk and speak to someone else. Other families are finding this very tricky and need more support so may have a call more frequently plus additional support for example art packs/books/toys/games etc.. delivered. Some families have also been engaging with food banks some where we have delivered and others where the food bank has. We have sign posted families to mental health services, food banks, financial support, Safer places and Herts Help.

      We are also directing families to our website for ideas, information and opportunities to share what they are doing.

      Our support with our volunteers has included phone support and regular get together’s via zoom and a weekly update of various opportunities both for themselves and to pass on to families around training and courses.


      Mind in Mid Herts

      We continue to take referrals and people can telephone 03303 208100 or self refer online www.mindinmidherts.org.uk

      We have developed a program for social support on line. To access this service please go to our website or call 03303 208100

      We have received funding that allows us to offer all our courses and workshops free of charge, people can register here https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/training-and-workshops/courses-workshops/living-well/ for:

      • Feeling well, to reduce feelings of depression and sadness
      • Building Courage, to manage anxiety
      • Learning to relax, coping with stress
      • Staying well at work
      • Sleep workshop

      We also have free, live mindfulness sessions each day for our frontline workers and you can register if you are a carer, work in health, including pharmacies, social care, funeral directors and associated workforces that are supporting people in any way including as volunteers. Also included in this offer is the blue light services, please click on this link for more information - https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/home/training-support-for-front-line-workers/


      YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People

      Currently delivering online youth projects through Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp, to our vulnerable groups to support young people during the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to these monitored online youth projects, young people can still get one-to-one help, information, advice, guidance and support from Youth Workers and Personal Advisers via phone and email on a wide range of issues.

      We are pleased to inform you that we have now launched a virtual support service via text whereby a young person can send a text with a key word and receive a personal reply from a Youth Worker or IAG team member. The attached gives further details on this service but in summary the key words are:-

      • LOCKDOWN for help with emotional wellbeing (how to cope during lockdown)
      • ANXIETY
      • SEXUAL HEALTH
      • LGBT+
      • CONFIDENCE
      • HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
      • OPTIONS for help with options after year 11
      • CAREERS
      • CV for support with CV writing
      • Any OTHER issue

      We hope this service gives young people an additional, familiar route to seek support during these unprecedented times. Please feel free to forward this email and attachment to any interested parties.

      We are still able to take new referrals for young people you feel may need additional support during this time. Please click on this link to see what we currently have on offer locally, including support during the upcoming half-term holidays.

      https://www.ychertfordshire.org/support-for-young-people/support-for-young-people-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/

      If you would like to refer a young person, the referral form can be found here https://www.ychertfordshire.org/about-yc-hertfordshire/make-a-referral/ or please reply to this e-mail.

      If you would like more information on any of the support we can offer, please get in touch

      YC Herts will be starting detached youth work again focusing on supporting those young people vulnerable to exploitation and becoming involved gangs.  This is an area where activity appears to have dropped during lock down but will undoubtedly emerge again in the coming months.  Here is a video of Anna Perry, Youth Worker talking about her online work with groups in North Herts over the past few weeks.


      Important message below from SADA ( Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse)

      We wanted to update you on the new Email Address for SADA, to replace the GCSX Email. Our New Email address for all contact and referrals is SADA@stevenage.gov.uk . In future please send all referrals to this email address. I must advise that any emails sent to the previous GCSX email will only be forwarded on for a limited amount of time, so please begin to use the new email as soon as possible. I apologise if anyone has received this email more than once and for any inconvenience this may cause.

      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.


      YCYC Hertfordshire Services for Young People - Hertsmere

      YC Hertfordshire is currently providing a wide range of online and telephone one-to-one and group support for young people. Referrals for support can be made via: https://www.ychertfordshire.org/about-yc-hertfordshire/make-a-referral/

      Young people; their parents/carers or professionals can also make contact by calling 0300 123 7538; via email at yc@hertfordshire.gov.uk or by texting 'SUPPORT' to 07860 065185

      A range of online Youth Work projects are running and will change according to need. Current ones (as at 20.5.20) are listed here but please see www.ychertfordshire.org for latest information:

      YC Hertfordshire is here to support young people in Welwyn Hatfield

      www.ychertfordshire.org

      tel. 01992 588220

      Text Support Service for Young People: 07860 065173

      Email : yc.WelwynHatfield@hertfordshire.gov.uk

      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 are working with schools and local councils to ensure young people, still have access to support through our online projects and Individual Contact with a youth worker and/or careers personal adviser as and when they need it.

      How we can support young people

      Young people in Welwyn Hatfield can still get information, advice, guidance and support on a range of issues, including emotional wellbeing, bullying, drugs and alcohol misuse, sexual health, managing finances, education and careers planning, including things they can do now to help in finding a job or plan for their future. Young people can speak directly with qualified and experienced YC Hertfordshire Youth Workers and Personal Advisers via phone or email. Young people can either text us with their name and age, 07860 065173, call us on 01992 588220, or email us

      yc.WelwynHatfield@hertfordshire.gov.uk to get this support.

      Online youth projects now running

      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 Welwyn Hatfield.

      View the bulletin here

      View the Careers resources here


      View the Healthy Hub Bulletin here

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