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Families First Covid-19 Response Update

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

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

Our Intensive Family Support Team is….

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

Our Partnerships, Practice and Development Team is….

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

Please note:

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

 Families First Triage will...

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

    Other resources:

    Covid19 – Hertfordshire County Council

    Covid19 – Children’s Services Updates

    Covid 19 – Safeguarding Children

    Covid19 - Families First Response


    Where do I get the latest information?

    New guidance for early years settings on re opening

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

    You can read the full guidance here.


    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.



    Partner Service Update

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

    Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) Service

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

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

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

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

    Family Centres : Update from Family Support Service

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

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

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

    Some of the changes that we have made include:

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

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

    Health Visitors :

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

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

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

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

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

    YC Hertfordshire - Support for young people during the coronavirus outbreak

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

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

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

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

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

    Parenting Together Support Programme

    Important changes

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

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

    We've switched to online referrals only at this time

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

    Domestic Abuse Services

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

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

    We're still here to help!

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

    Domestic Abuse Live Chat Launched by Safer Places

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Our resilience workers are…

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

    Our family and hidden harm workers are…

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

    Please note:

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

    Other resources:

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

    Resolve - Drug and alcohol Support

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

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

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

    Mental Health Services

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

    Herts Mind Network

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

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

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

    Money Advice Unit, HCC

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

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

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

    Families in Focus CIC

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

    Handling Anger in Your Family

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

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

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

    A Complete Guide to Parenting Children with SEND

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

    Topics included:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Hertfordshire Adult & Family Learning Service (HAFLS update)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    BorrowBox - Hertfordshire Libraries online library service!

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

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

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

    Covid-19 Grants Available

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Links for Mental Health and General Wellbeing

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Healthy Young Minds in Herts

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

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

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

    Download the school letter here

    Mental Health Services

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

    Herts Mind Network

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

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

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

    Mind in Mid Herts

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

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



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


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

    Links for Home Schooling, Learning, games etc

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

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

    Newsletter 1 - School Staff

    Newsletter 2 - Parents and Carers

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

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

    The resources area includes:

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

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

    FREE home learning resources for ALL schools

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

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

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

    ALL primary schools and families can receive free access.


    Parent guide for positive parenting during covid-19

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

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

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

    Family Learning and Activity resources

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

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

    We have categories for:

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

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


    Links for Keeping Active and Eating Healthy

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

    Eating Healthy

    BeeZee Bodies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    British Dietetic Association (BDA)

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




    Staying Active

    Herts Sports Partnership

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

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

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

    Sport England - Stay In Work Out

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


    Change for Life – Indoor Activities

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

    Simple recipes for families







    Hertfordshire united against coronavirus

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

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

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

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

    For Financial Advice

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

    Referral links for professionals and volunteers

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

    Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life