Families First News

Front page - Welcome

Welcome Message

Dear Partners and colleagues,

We hope you all had a good summer and managed to have some much deserved time off from your busy roles.

As we start the new school term, Hertfordshire schools and colleges are working hard to make sure children and young people can return to school safely. You can read the latest guidance here and this can be shared with parents to reassure them that their school is following all Government and public health advice for the start of the new term. In addition, The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) have also published a range of resources to support children's social and emotional wellbeing as they return to school. You can access this here.

In this edition we have a special feature from the SEND Transformation team who have put together a practical tool to assist early help professionals navigate SEND information and support. We also have a feature on BeeZeeBodies, who run a children’s and young people’s healthy weight service across Hertfordshire.

You can also read more about the Government's recently launched Kickstart Scheme which is a new initiative to support 16-24 year olds into work. This will help us to support young people in building their skills for the workplace.

Can we please also ask for your help in improving our Families First Portal by answering a short survey, and finally please keep an eye on our Grants and Funding page which lists some Covid specific funding opportunities.

We hope you enjoy this issue and please continue to send in your service updates.

Best wishes from the Families First Development Team

The latest news

Help us improve Hertfordshire’s Families First portal

There is currently work underway to develop our Families First portal for both professionals and parent/carers to enhance the directory of resources and content.

What is Families First?

Families First is the term used in Hertfordshire for services that work together to support families who need extra help. These are also known as early help services.

We all experience difficulties at some point. Families First can help you find early help and information to prevent issues from getting worse.

Who is it for?

Families First is available to all Hertfordshire families with children under 18 (25 if they have a learning need or disability).

What are we trying to do?

We want to develop an online offer which provides you with a range of information and resources on topics such as youth crime and mental health.

A part of this work also includes understanding your experience of making a referral to Hertfordshire’s Children’s Services, if applicable.

How can you help?

In order to support this work, we have developed a short survey. The survey is anonymous and any information which may identify you or your child/young person will be anonymised during analysis.

We are also looking for people that might be interested in being involved in this piece of work through focus groups or similar so, at the end of the survey, if you would like to be involved there is the option to leave your personal details.

The survey will be open until Friday 09 October 2020.

You can access the survey at: https://surveys.hertfordshire.gov.uk/s/SOPW8P/

Thank you for your time.

 

SEND - A Practitioners Toolkit

The SEND Transformation Team are putting together a practical tool to help early help professionals navigate SEND information and support, and subsequently strengthen SEND support within universal services and targeted services. It has been co-produced with professionals from a range of services across health, education and social care, together with parent /carer representatives from HPCI.

The toolkit can be currently be viewed here - and will soon be available on the Families First Portal. In the meantime, please take a look and pass any feedback to : SENDTransformation@hertfordshire.gov.uk

You may also be interested in the latest edition of SEND News which has a feature on returning to school .

Healthy Weight Service for CYPs

Beezee Bodies are commissioned by Hertfordshire County Council to run the children’s and young people’s healthy weight service.

Below are the highlights of the service they provide, more information and the referral process can be found at their Asset Bank:-

BZ Families

  • 14-week programme
  • 1 hour of nutrition topics (snacks, breakfast, portion size) and goal setting with families each week
  • 1 hour physical activity with local sport coaches (whole family encouraged to take part)

Brief Intervention – 1-1 support

  • Face to face or online
  • 1:1 appointment with healthy lifestyle specialist, support families making changes, building healthy habits, nutrition and physical activity advice.
  • Family will leave 1:1 appointment with knowing what to change and how to change it.

HENRY

  • 8-week programme for under 5’s in Herts Valley
  • Each session lasts for 2 hours, and includes some family time where we play games, and some parent time, where we discuss healthy lifestyle topics.
  • Create long-term healthy habits for families, discussing topics such as nutrition, emotional wellbeing, parenting skills and getting more active. 

Healthy family training for professionals

  • Professionals invited to attend face to face or online training workshops.
  • Topic example: raising the issue training (how to bring up child’s weight to parents)
  • We would like feedback from professionals on the types of training they would like to receive from us.

Masterclasses

  • For professionals and families to come together to learn about various topics; fussy eating, conflict resolution, getting active.

 

The Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is a new initiative to support 16-24 year olds into work. It has recently been launched by the Government.

Any size and type of organisation that employs people can offer young people, claiming Universal Credit, a six-month work placement that will be paid for by government. The Kickstart Scheme will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions and will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.

Kickstart Scheme jobs must be new and of good quality. Government will pay 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart Scheme placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

More information for employers is available on GOV.UK.

Supporting Young People

The Department for Work & Pensions know that young people are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic. The Kickstart Scheme is an opportunity to build their skills in the workplace. This will improve their chances of finding long-term work.

Young people will be referred to these new roles via their Jobcentre Plus work coach. The first ‘Kickstarts’ are expected to begin at the start of November.

If your organisation is not in a position to directly take part, you can still support young people by helping to spread the word.

The Department for Work & Pensions have produced a range of support material and A Guide for Employers.

They have also created a special page for young people on the jobhelp website. 

The Kickstart Scheme for smaller employers

To help smaller businesses and employers offering fewer than 30 placements, there will be a way to bid via an intermediary or representative of a group of employers. These intermediaries can then bid on behalf of groups of employers.

You can find out how this will work here Guidance for representatives of employers.

Plan for jobs

The Kickstart Scheme was announced in July as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs. This includes doubling the number of frontline Work Coaches to 27,000 and an Expanded Youth Offer to support 18-24 year olds. The Department for Work & Pensions are also increasing participation in the sector-based work academy programme, aiming to support 40,000 placement jobseekers to get the right skills for the roles that are on offer.

Find out more information at the Plan for Jobs webpage.

Managing Money Made simple - for parents

A free only course that makes managing money simple - this free zoom online course may be useful to families that you are working with. For more information and registration please visit:-  https://tinyurl.com/CAPmoneycourse

Register here: - https://tinyurl.com/CAPmoneycourse

Covid Messages in Non-English Languages

GPs and other professionals at the CCG have created some non-English language videos in order to help increase awareness about social distancing, hand washing and testing.

These can all be viewed on our HCC YouTube channel in the following languages:

Dr Ash Shah – Gujarati

Dr Rupal Shah – Urdu/Hindi

Dianne Desmulie – Italian

Iris Cheung – Cantonese

Dr Gurpreet Singh – Punjabi

Dorota – Clinical Pharmacist – Polish

Magdalena Zuwala – Health Care Assistant – Polish

In addition, members of our BAME Community across Hertfordshire have kindly put together a series of videos, in a range of languages, to share social distancing advice. It also highlights the importance of finding ways to look after our mental health as well as our physical health.

Domestic abuse – tell us what you see when you’re at work

Because we know anyone can experience domestic abuse, we also know they can seek help in many different ways.

This is why we want to understand more about domestic abuse from those working in people-facing professions, because you are often the people that could spot the signs.

You are being sent this anonymous survey because you work in a role where you might come across victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Questions will be about your professional experience of domestic abuse, including what you’ve seen and how you’ve responded to suspected or confirmed cases of domestic abuse in the past. This will help us to improve services and support for victims of domestic violence or abuse.

To complete this survey, please visit: https://surveys.hertfordshire.gov.uk/s/DAprofessional/ or scan this code with your smartphone or tablet.

 

Prevent - Resources

Please find below some Prevent information and support available to both schools and parents/carers.

These resource documents have come from Votes4Schools, co-produced by Counter Terrorism Policing and have been endorsed by the Home Office.

Talking at Home about Extremism - Primary

Talking at Home about Extremism - Secondary

 

 

Library resources and advice for online homework

Do the families you work with worry about internet safety or have difficulty with completing online homework? The Library Service can help! We have fantastic resources for homework help and regularly share advice on internet safety. Being a library member gives you access to a massive range of online encyclopaedias in our Reference library online – perfect for homework assignments. I would like to highlight two:

  • Britannica Online – the online version of Encyclopaedia Britannica. It includes the great feature in that you can select the level of detail according to your age group. They have three levels: Junior (for age 6-10), Student (10-15) and Adult (for age 15+).
  • Credo Reference – a database of hundreds of encyclopaedias, dictionaries, thesauri including articles, images, audio files and videos. Just type in your topic and have easy access to a huge range of articles

To find these great resources and more, visit our Reference library online .

If hyperlink isn’t suitable please use this text:
To find these great resources and more, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk, select Libraries and Archives, Books and Online Reference and then Reference Library Online.

If you know families that are concerned about internet and app safety, we can highlight organisations and websites that help keep them informed and feel more confident:

  • Net Aware https://www.net-aware.org.uk/ - this site from NSPCC and O2 reviews the most popular and up-to-date apps, games and social media sites that children are using. Parents and carers can learn essential information, what to look out for, and Net Aware provides ratings for risks including sexual, violence and hatred, bullying, suicide and self-harm and drink, drugs and crime
  • Thinkuknow https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ - this CEOP site breaks advice down according to age groups: age 4-7, 8-10, 11-13 and 14+ years. Advice is tailored to adults as well as directly to the child and includes helpful videos and games
  • BBC Own It App – an app to support digital wellbeing. This app includes a downloadable keyboard that can provide advice in real time to children, for example if a child is about to share a phone number or email address, the app will ask them if they really want to do this.

I hope you have found this information useful, library resources and advice are regularly featured on our social media so follow us @hertslibraries on Facebook and Twitter and visit our website for more information or to get in contact.

The “Operation Sustain” Offer – we’re here for you!

As we move into the second phase of the COVID 19 pandemic HCC will continue to support vulnerable residents of Hertfordshire under “Operation Sustain.” This service will continue to be accessed through HertsHelp (HH) who will triage clients’ needs making appropriate referrals or signposting to relevant support services.

Our offer includes:

  • Volunteer support (including shopping, medication collection, befriending, dog walking) via the Community Help Hertfordshire (CHH) service model under which all the Hertfordshire CVS organisations who have come together to provide a unified response to support people in need.  This network will also act as a support and co-ordinator for smaller but important community groups including mutual aid groups, foodbanks and good neighbour schemes, assisting with organisational development and fund raising.
  • Hertfordshire Community Navigation Service (HCNS) which aims to improve health and wellbeing by supporting those vulnerable service users in their own homes and in moving from hospital to home, using Community Navigators and Link Workers and the HCNS Pathway which is built into the overall social prescription pathway.
  • A broadened Crisis Intervention Service
    • HertsHelp will deliver a crisis intervention service for people in crisis to include food, energy costs and other essentials for those who are in ongoing crisis or who have come into crisis as a result of COVID 19.
    • There is also the HERT (Hertfordshire Economic Recovery Team) partnership where HCC’s Money Advice Unit (MAU) and Citizens Advice Hertfordshire (CAH) have come together to enhance the finance, welfare benefits and debt management advice already available in Hertfordshire to vulnerable residents who have been most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, to aid their financial recovery and embed future financial security and literacy, complementing the work done by financial inclusion workers in District and Borough Housing teams, especially regarding complex cases.

 To access all of these services call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044, visit www.hertshelp.net or email info@hertshelp.net

Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Support

With mental health being one of the predicted areas where we will see an increase in presenting needs, we have set out below some very useful links which we have received from the Families First partnerships.


Supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus – Information for professionals

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during Coronavirus - Information for Children and Young People

Schools and Families Advice Line (SFAL): The ‘Schools and Families Advice Line’ (SFAL) is a new service established to provide emotional wellbeing advice and early help to children and young people, families and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here


The new JUST TALK website provides a host of useful information to YP families and professionals during COVID 19: https://www.justtalkherts.org/just-talk-herts.aspx

Healthy Young Minds in Herts: The below website has a Professionals, Schools, Parents/ Carers and Young Persons section. Information on emotional health and wellbeing support available for children and young people in Hertfordshire for school staff. https://www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk/    NOTE The schools section requires log in details

View the latest CAMHS bulletin here

YC

YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People provides youth work, information, advice, guidance, work related learning and support for young people. Although face-to-face work is currently suspended, you can still contact a Youth Worker or Personal Adviser for one to one and project groupwork support by calling 0300 123 7538, emailing yc@hertfordshire.gov.uk or visit https://www.ychertfordshire.org/

Supporting schools and colleges booklet - the Anna Freud Centre: This free booklet provides advice and guidance for school staff about how to help children and young people manage their mental health and wellbeing during times of disruption to their learning.

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 OLLIE Foundation is a charity dedicated to delivering suicide awareness, intervention and prevention training by empowering professionals and young adults in their own communities to lead suicide prevention activities.

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/

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. 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/

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.

Barnet Council have produced a very user friendly "Back to School Guide for parents, carers and guardians" which could be very useful for supporting anxiety in getting children back to school.

Mental Health Services - contact numbers

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/

We hope you find these resources useful in supporting the families you work with.

Learning & development

It's Never Too Late to Learn

Hertfordshire Adult & Family Learning Service have created a poster to promote the courses they are running over the next couple of months. This may be useful to share with relevant families you are working with.

One is a generic poster with links to their website showing details of courses in September.

Free family learning course - adults and children learn together :-

Find out more about: Online Grow it, Cook it, Share it here

Find out more about: Online Outdoor Play here

Free Webinars - Mental Health Conference

As the nominated East of England Regional Network Hub for the Mind charity, we at the Herts Sports Partnership have organised our first ever conference dedicated to Mental Health. This online event is an opportunity to hear from some inspiring speakers working in the mental health arena. Attendees can sign up for as many one hour webinars as they choose, with breaks programmed throughout the day.

All sessions are free to attend and more information and booking details can be found here

HSCP - Training and Resources

The HSCP/HSAB have developed a new webpage on Training and Resources. Due to Covid-19 our face to face training has been suspended, but the majority of our training offer is now available via live webinar sessions. Please visit our new webpage to access our monthly L&D Programme, where you can see what courses are on offer and how you can book onto them, please click here.


The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership’s virtual Learning Hubs are coming up for front-line practitioners – the theme is Safeguarding Children Online. 

The sessions will be led by Dr Peter Buzzi and Claudia Megele both experts in the field. 

At the learning hubs you will gain a greater understanding of:

  • How children and young people are being exposed to online risks and online sexual harm from a young age.
  • The impact of social media on brain and behaviour
  • Child-centred practice
  • Online risks

There are five sessions available that are detailed below and they will run for 2 ½ hours. Please click here to book your place or refer to the attached flyer.

Date

Start Time

29 September 2020

10:30am

29 September 2020

2pm

6 October 2020

10:30am

6 October 2020

2pm

13 October 2020

3:30pm


The HSCP website now has a page related to 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.

 

Virtual EHM (Early Help Module) System Training

The Families First Partnership, Practice and Development Team are delighted to be able to offer Virtual Families First Practice & EHM Systems training for practitioners who will initiate Families First Assessments (FFA) and/or be a TAF member for the family using the EHM System.

Duration: 2 hours

If you would like to book onto this training please email an expression of interest to ipinfo@hertfordshire.gov.uk and your local Senior Families First Coordinator will contact you with booking details.

Course Objective

Delegates attending this course will gain an understanding and overview of Families First principles in Hertfordshire, Families First Practice Standards, pathways and tools, including when and how to complete a Families First Assessment (FFA), using EHM system to effectively record and evidence support for family, undertaking the keyworker role and coordinating an effective Team Around the Family (TAF) and ongoing system and practice support for practitioners.

Expected Outcomes

Practitioners will be confident to initiate Families First Assessments, use EHM system, undertake the keyworker role and know how to access additional practice support should they need this.

If you require support with the FFA process or EHM system, please email or Tel. your Local Senior and Families First Coordinator

Further guidance and resource to support Early Help practitioners is available from the Professionals Portal at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/familiesfirstpractitioners

 

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:

  • 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.

 

Difference we're making

The Freedom Programme

The Intensive Family Support Team (Stevenage & North Herts) have been facilitating The Freedom Programme since 2018.

During this time we have successfully completed 4 programmes and have supported many female Domestic Violence survivors, within a course setting or on a 1:1 basis.

Recently we have had to adapt our work and practise to include virtual sessions and as we like to be as interactive as possible within our groups, we asked the woman to be creative and describe their perfect partner.

The below poem was created by one of the woman attending our group and she has kindly agreed to share this with you.

A message to new boyfriend

The height of my walls is a reflection of my past,

I don’t need rescuing.

Your time, patience and understanding of my ways will see the walls reduce in height,

I don’t need rescuing.

I am finally me. Don’t try and change me or mould me to who you want me to be,

I don’t need rescuing.

 I am happy with the person I have become; I don’t need you to complete me. I am an imperfect perfect.

I don’t need rescuing.

 You can love me but don’t try and control me. You can grow with me but don’t stifle me,

I don’t need rescuing.

By LL

Families First - Performance Data Report

You may be interested to view our Families First Performance Data report for the period June 2019-July 2020.

The report looks at Families First Assessments that took place within the period and highlights the presenting needs and outcomes broken down by district along with data from short term pieces of work with families.

Local area news

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

Herts for Learning

Libraries

Families in Focus

Family Lives

Carers in Hertfordshire

DWP


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 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.hertsfamilycentres.org/family-centres.aspx

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 youth work projects in young people’s centres will be resuming in September 2020.

In addition to continuing many of our online group work sessions and one-to-one support via phone and email, our youth workers are providing street-based youth work and are delivering the Positive Alternatives Programme outdoors across Hertfordshire.

YC Hertfordshire Access Points have now re-opened. Get opening times and full details of your local Access Point here: YC Hertfordshire Access Points

I’ve sent you a link to the youth projects in each district that hopefully will be opening in the Autumn. What’s the best way to communicate this to families/professionals?

Youth projects for young people with learning disabilities : YC Hertfordshire runs projects across Hertfordshire specifically for young people with learning disabilities up to their 25th birthday. More information can be found here.

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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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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.

As unemployment rises we are receiving an increasing number of queries re redundancy support. Please find attached a short information guide which we have put together and would be grateful if you could share as appropriate. Please let us know if you are aware of other support available which should be included in this document.

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Herts Sports Partnership

You can view the latest news from Herts Sports Partnership here:- https://sportinherts.org.uk/news/

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Drug and Alcohol Support

CGL Spectrum

Our recovery workers are offering support over the phone or you can contact CGL from 09:00 - 19:00 by phoning us on 0800 652 3169 or emailing Herts@cgl.org.uk. If you're worried about something, get in touch. www.changegrowlive.org/spectrum-hertfordshire-drug-alcohol-services

Help at home : Breaking Free Online is a free, online treatment and recovery program. It's for anyone addicted to alcohol or drugs. You can sign up to the treatment programme using the access code herts11.

Find the latest information on coronavirus on our information pages or the NHS website.

You can find local mutual aid support groups on this website

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Resolve - Drug and alcohol Support

Resuming limited face to face groups, counselling, assessments and keywork from 1st September.

Risk assessments have been undertaken and we have found a way to work safely and within government guidelines.

Group numbers will be limited to 5 clients at a time, and only one facilitator. We have all the necessary safety measures in place, masks, sanitizer, social distancing etc.

Please see the timetable here. The groups in yellow are face to face, and we are still running Zoom for those that don’t feel they want to return just yet. We will be asking clients to register with which groups they wish to attend due to limited numbers, clients have to ensure they attend (or with valid reason not to attend) or they will be given 2 strikes, after which they will not be able to attend face to face, as we will be running a waiting list. Priority will be given to those on court orders or orders by Children’s Services. We aim to get all clients in at least 2 face to face a week.

Counselling and 121 work will take place in a different room where we can social distance.

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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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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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Herts for Learning

Herts for Learning newsletters are now available to download.

Our newsletter for staff includes reviews and details about:

  • Look At Me, Teens sexting and risks – from internet.matters.org
  • Online blackmail - a new resource for 15-18 year olds from Thinkyknow
  • Be Internet Legends – the new RHSE curriculum resources from Google and Parent Zone
  • Online Resilience Tool – the new resource for professionals from HeadStart
  • Let’s talk about Porn -A teaching resource designed to educate young people about pornography from SWGfL
  • The Herts for Learning schools online safety model policy template, including online safety acceptable use agreements
  • Plus a selection of resources on safeguarding and remote education from the DfE, NSPCC and O2, National Cyber Security Centre, LGfL and others.

Our newsletter for parents and carers includes reviews and details about:

  • Parents and Carers Toolkit – from ChildNet
  • Connecting safely online – from Internetmatters.org
  • In-game chat: What parents and carers need to know – from Thinkuknow
  • BorrowBox – Free access to ebooks and audiobooks – from your local library service
  • O2 and NSPCC helpline and resources
  • Online safety videos - from Childnet
  • Protecting Personal Data – from National Online Safety

BorrowBox - Hertfordshire Libraries online library service!

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 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 visit our website 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

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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. 


DWP - Supporting jobseekers and claimants through social media

Jobcentre Plus is supporting jobseekers to prepare for and find work through Twitter. They can find local vacancies and join virtual jobs fairs, skills events and other online events on their local Jobcentre Plus Twitter account

If you work with jobseekers, please tell them about the Jobcentre Plus Twitter service. They do not need to register for a Twitter account to view the information.

If you would like to get involved with an online event, please send a Direct Message to your local Twitter account.

This service sits alongside the Find a job and job help websites.

Sign up to receive "Touchbase" the DWP monthly newsletter.

 

 

St Albans and Dacorum District Bulletin

St Albans and Dacorum - News Bulletin

Updated September 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.


Healthy Hub Dacorum

The Healthy Hub Dacorum has recently launched as a one stop shop for residents, aiming to provide guidance on the services that will support their health and wellbeing needs. The Healthy Hub will help people on a variety of issues such as mental health, weight management, financial or housing advice, unemployment and family conflict. As we are expected to run virtually until 2021, recently the Healthy Hub has introduced an online enquiry form on our website for our clients to get in contact. This is so we can provide our services users with advice and support on the local health and wellbeing services within Dacorum. Currently our form will run as a signposting service but we hope to develop referral pathways with our partners.

Whilst we transition out of lockdown, we are also developing partnerships to create strong physical centres within Hemel Hempstead, Tring and Berkhamsted, which will allow us to provide face to face support albeit in a safe environment. We are also working with local charities and companies to develop new services that will aim to support people throughout Dacorum.

Please visit Healthy Hub Dacorum for more information


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.


YC Hertfordshire - Youth Work

The Youth Work Team have had a very busy summer with 1:1 support for young people and online groups for the most vulnerable and also catering for young people in localities. We have also carried out a significant amount of detached youth work, that is workers engaging with young people on the streets, in parks and open spaces, spreading the message of social distancing and signposting young people to ways they could get more support from YC Hertfordshire during the lockdown period.

During the month of August we also delivered the Positive Alternatives Programme, which addressed personal safety, healthy relationships, effects of knife crime on communities, as well as a sports/arts component. This was very well received by young people and will also give us a foundation of attendees for our Autumn term youth projects, which are scheduled to be back in buildings, albeit, with reduced numbers. Normally over the summer, we would deliver the National Citizens Service (NCS), 4 week personal development programme to approximately 550 young people across St Albans and Dacorum. NCS did go ahead in both districts but to a much reduced cohort and without the two five day residentials.

The Youth Work Team are now in the process of finalising the autumn offer, which in some instances will have a mix of face to face and online youth work. Our buildings have been risk assessed and are Covid-19 compliant in terms of health of safety and our start date for young people is now week commencing 21 September.

We are working with schools to decide how we can support the reintegration of young people returning after such a long period of time away.

For information or further details, please contact: yc@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Information, Advice and Guidance and Work Related Learning Team

The Information, Advice and Guidance team have been working hard since the commencement of lockdown and over the summer to deliver advice and guidance virtually and by phone to young people across the double district area. They have also been delivering a bespoke virtual programme called ‘Pathways to Success’ to young people identified as being at risk of becoming NEET or those who are NEET (not in employment, education and training) to over 25 young people.

This term sees the start of School returns and the team are working closely with their allocated schools to ensure careers guidance is delivered to all students identified by their schools. The majority of advisers are returning to deliver face to face work in schools, whilst some are starting the term delivering virtual and telephone guidance.

The Pathways to success programme is now moving into the final quarter of this year and will be working with over 30 young people through October to December both face to face and virtually for which referrals are now open and can be made by contacting Bex Perry- Team Leader directly. The PTS programme aims to support young people into positive employment, education and training outcomes and includes CV writing, skills and qualities, personal branding and mock interviews over a 2 week course. Each young person involved then receives up to 6 months one to one support tailored to their needs.

The work related learning team have also been working with local employers to plan the re-commencement of work experience for 2020-2021 and have been in contact with many employers to secure placements for this academic year.

We are now offering face to ace appointments with our Personal Advisers and Employment and Training Advisers Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 2pm- 5pm in St Albans at Catherine Street Access Point and in Dacorum at Hemel Hempstead Young Peoples Centre, Jarmans Park. Appointment can be made by calling 01442 454060.

For any further information on the support provided by the St Albans and Dacorum IAG and WRL Team please contact: yc@hertfordshire.gov.uk

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

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).

The CA are keen to hear from families who need help to reduce energy bills / write off fuel debts / make energy efficiency improvements.  Please see this Energy Flyer for more information. 


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 – https://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/.


    Dacorum Borough Council - useful links for activities

    Arts and culture

    Herts Year of Culture – countywide activity:https://www.creativehertfordshire.com/whats-online/

    Herts Year of Culture  - Dacorum activity:http://www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/community-living/community-partnerships/hertfordshire-year-of-culture

    Electric Umbrella – inclusive music charity offering a programme of online music activities ‘EUTV’ https://www.electricumbrella.co.uk/

    Herts Inclusive Theatre –live and interactive activities online including drama, yoga and games/arts & crafts https://hit-theatre.org.uk/whats-on/events

    Sport and Physical Activity

    Herts Disability Foundation Online Activity Sessions: https://www.hertsdisabilitysportsfoundation.com/online-sessions-1

    Herts Sports Partnership – Work out from Home Platform: https://sportinherts.org.uk/workoutfromhome/#content

    Active Dacorum

    Active Dacorum Facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/ActiveDacorum

    Active Dacorum Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/Active_Dacorum

     

    Watford and Three Rivers Bulletin

    Watford and Three Rivers - News Bulletin

    Updated September 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 Three Rivers DC bulletin (and previous bulletins) can be found here https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/partnerships


    Empower

    Empower is a mental wellbeing and physical activity programme for boys and girls aged between 9-12 years. Each cohort lasts 48 weeks and is split into three distinctive phases. More information can be found here.


    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.


    South West Herts Partnership

    Download the recent newsletter here 

     

    East Herts and Broxbourne Bulletin

    Updated September 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.

    Free family learning course - adults and children learn together


    YC Hertfordshire support for young people in Broxbourne, East Herts & Welwyn Hatfield : Summer 2020 delivery

    YC

    YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People youth work projects in young people’s centres will be resuming in September 2020.

    Throughout the summer, in addition to continuing many of our online group work sessions and one-to-one support via phone and email, our youth workers are providing street-based youth work and are delivering the Positive Alternatives Programme outdoors across Hertfordshire.

    YC Hertfordshire Access Points have now re-opened. Get opening times and full details of your local Access Point here: YC Hertfordshire Access Points


    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.

    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

    CHEXs most recent newsletter is here on our website:

    https://www.chexs.co.uk/2020/04/chexs-summer-newsletter-2020-covid-19-special/


    Family Centres : Update from Family Support Service

    The Family Centre Service continues 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 https://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 https://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 September 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.


    Herts Mind Network

    The Wellbeing Centre in Letchworth will be opening up from Wednesday 9th September.

    We will be open for ‘appointment only’ sessions from 0900 – Midday every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Due to current government guidelines we are unable to run any groups from our centre but I am looking to hold them weekly in the community from the end of September and once I have dates/times finalised I will send them out to both clients and organisations.

    To see information about our services, please see www.hertfordshiremind.org and Details of the Peer Support can be found here .

    We are currently providing many free support services;

    • Peer Support – 8/12 sessions over the phone/in centre
    • Wellbeing support- 8 sessions over the phone
    • Counselling- up to 10 sessions over the phone. There is a charge for counselling £20 or £40 but is means tested against client income.
    • Peer Mentoring – up to 6 sessions over the phone
    • Crisis helpline- anyone who is struggling is welcome to phone this number- 01923 256391
    • Online groups and activities including all of our meeting places, yoga, music and LGBTQ+ groups
    • Young people’s helpline 01923 256391  - Opening hours are Mon, Weds ,Fri -13:00-16:30, Tues and Thurs -17:00 -19:00 and Saturday 10:00-13:00
    • Young people’s online hangout and Care leavers meeting place
    • HAFLS online wellbeing through learning.

    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

    Stevenage Centre Plans to Reopen

    Plans are well underway to reopen our Stevenage centre in September. We are currently putting in safety measures to enable social distancing for staff and clients, and, if possible, we will be reopening from September 9th.

    We will continue to hold online group sessions for people who cannot access our Stevenage centre in person and we’ll be reinstating face-to-face sessions gradually – we won’t rush to reopen without listening to the wishes and concerns of the people who need us.

    We will learn from how well Stevenage reopening works, before we continue with our plans to open our other centres. The foremost importance is safety and as Covid-19 is still with us, we must be cautious and careful, as we slowly come out of lockdown. At any time, our plans may change depending on government advice and local lockdown restrictions. Please bear with us as we try to navigate through this.

    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.


    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.

    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 support for young people

    YC

    YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People youth work projects in young people’s centres will be resuming in September 2020.

    Throughout the summer, in addition to continuing many of our online group work sessions and one-to-one support via phone and email, our youth workers are providing street-based youth work and are delivering the Positive Alternatives Programme outdoors across Hertfordshire.

    YC Hertfordshire Access Points have now re-opened. Get opening times and full details of your local Access Point here: YC Hertfordshire Access Points


    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.


    The Intensive Family Support Team (Stevenage & North Herts) have been facilitating The Freedom Programme since 2018.

    During this time we have successfully completed 4 programmes and have supported many female Domestic Violence survivors, within a course setting or on a 1:1 basis.

    Recently we have had to adapt our work and practise to include virtual sessions and as we like to be as interactive as possible within our groups, we asked the woman to be creative and describe their perfect partner.

    Please visit our "Difference we're making page" to  read a poem created by a parent who completed the programme.

    Welwyn Hatfield & Hertsmere Bulletin

    Updated September 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

    YC

    YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People youth work projects in young people’s centres will be resuming in September 2020.

    Throughout the summer, in addition to continuing many of our online group work sessions and one-to-one support via phone and email, our youth workers are providing street-based youth work and are delivering the Positive Alternatives Programme outdoors across Hertfordshire.

    YC Hertfordshire Access Points have now re-opened. Get opening times and full details of your local Access Point here: YC Hertfordshire Access Points


    Family Centre Service - Family Support Service, Hertsmere

    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 – search “Hertsmere Family Centre Service”- and are delivering a range of Zoom sessions such as Baby Sing and Play, Messy Play and Fun with Stories. 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.


    View the July Healthy Hub Bulletin here

    View the June Healthy Hub Bulletin here

    View the May Healthy Hub Bulletin here

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