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Friday 3 April 2020

Welcome to the
Family Information Service
Newsletter

Visit the Family Information Service website for a wide range of information and advice for families with children and young people aged 0 to 25 across Warwickshire. 

For support, call the Family Information Service on 01926 742274 
(available Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm)
In this edition of the Family Information Service Newsletter you will find information about the voucher scheme for free school meals, paid temporary opportunities to support vulnerable people in Warwickshire, advice on preventing accidents in the home and much more. 

Don't forget to take a look at the activities at the end of the newsletter that are updated with new resources each time to help you keep your children learning and entertained throughout isolation!

As always, please stay informed on the latest guidance on Coronavirus (Covid-19) below and adhere to social distancing guidance

If anyone you know would like to subscribe to this newsletter, they can sign up here
Follow the latest advice on Coronavirus (Covid-19):

Updates from Public Health England
 
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
    A scheme to support those whose income has been negatively impacted by Coronavirus by providing a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Learn more.
    If you need financial help whilst waiting for SEISS, check your eligibility to claim Universal Credit here.
     
  • Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
    The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about Coronavirus. They aim is to combat the spread of Coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. Read more here.
     
  • Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of Coronavirus.
    This guide provides advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.
    Take a look here.
     
  • Guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
    This guide provides advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the Coronavirus outbreak.
    Find out more.
What's new?
URGENT REQUEST for all Warwickshire childcare providers

Please can all childcare providers update their details on the childcare finder to reflect their status due to Covid-19. We have now added a mandatory tick box to reflect your status with the option to add notes. All you have to do to check your details then enter your 6 digit user name and password.

We are receiving a high number of calls from families looking for childcare at the moment, so it will really make a difference if you make sure that your details are up-to-date for parents to find you, and to ensure that they don’t contact you if you are not currently open for business.

If you can’t remember your password or username, please contact us on 01926 742274 or email us at fis@warwickshire.gov.uk and we will reset it for you. If you need to change your contact details, please get in touch with OFSTED directly on 0300 123 1231.

Scheme launches for schools: free school meal vouchers

Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.

Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.

Parents and carers should contact their children's school for information or visit the Warwickshire County Council website.

Read more >

The companies that need workers

Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs because of the Coronavirus crisis as restaurants, bars, hotels and gyms have been forced to close.

But many companies still in business are urgently seeking more staff to meet orders, help with deliveries and just to keep things moving.

The major supermarkets are searching for 35,000 additional workers, but many other firms supplying essential goods or services are also looking for extra help so they can cope with the increased demand.

Read more >

Preventing accidents in the home

With children at home over the coming weeks and the NHS overwhelmed, many families are likely to be worried about their child having a serious accident (rightly so when you think 90% of accidents to under 5’s happen at home!).

CAPT has put together a list of accidents that are the most serious and the easiest to prevent at home. 

Read more >

Maternity Updates from South Warks NHS Foundation Trust

The maternity department at Warwick Hospital has set up a closed Facebook group so that expectant mothers can receive updates and information during this unprecedented time in the NHS. Search 'Maternity updates SWFT' on Facebook.

You will need to submit a request and provide your NHS number before accessing the page.

 

Read more >

Changes to Registration Services in Warwickshire as a result of COVID19

As a result of the COVID19 outbreak, necessary changes have been made to how Registration Services operate in Warwickshire.

All Registration Offices in Warwickshire are now closed to the public, resulting in changes to ceremonies, death and birth registrations in the county.

Marriages and civil partnerships are not currently taking place as a result of Government guidance and all notices of marriage or civil partnership are currently deferred.





 

Read more >

Paid opportunities to support vulnerable people in Warwickshire

Warwickshire County Council is recruiting for a variety of temporary roles to support social care services during the Covid-19 pandemic to work in residential homes, nursing homes, domiciliary care and more.

The council is looking for individuals who are seeking short-term paid employment who are keen to take on a role which will support the vulnerable community in Warwickshire at this challenging time. It is looking for people who love helping others and enjoy working as part of a team.



Make a difference, apply today.



 

Learn more >

Fake Dolls a Danger to Children

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards is warning parents to check their children’s toys after fake ‘Disney Frozen II’ dolls were found to be dangerous.

Trading Standards Officers tested the dolls and found they contained Phthalates - a banned chemical plastic softener, exposure to which has been linked to asthma, allergies and reproductive problems.

A second toy labelled ‘Aagel Girls’ was also found to contain Phthalates.

 

Read more >

Home learning from Warwickshire Libraries

Warwickshire Libraries have put together some useful home learning links to help parents and carers and children at home. 

There are a fantastic collection of e-books for children and young people from BorrowBox, top tips for parents, general learning links, activities for early years children and much more. 

Read more >

Houseparty: How to remain safe while using the app

Houseparty is surging in popularity, as people look for ways to keep up with family and friends during the Coronavirus lockdown. It can be a fun feature for finding friends to chat to, but it can also very quickly become an irritating one if your phone keeps going off in your pocket.

Cyber Safe Warwickshire has put together an article with advises on how to remain safe while using the app. 

Read more>

By Your Side: Support for families during pregnancy and birth

Local service user forum, By Your Side, provides support to families with emotional difficulties during pregnancy or in the year following the birth of their child.

To help provide additional support during the Coronavirus outbreak they are running various online sessions, including an informal video chat where mums can talk to each other and ask for advice from trained peer supporters about managing emotional difficulties during this challenging time.

They have also been working with the NHS health visiting service to put together a wellbeing guide to help local families cope during the current Covid-19 pandemic. 

Read more >
You might be worried about coronavirus (Covid-19), how it could affect your life and having to stay at home to avoid other people. This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing during this time. 
  1. NSPCC provide advice on how to talk to your child if they are worried or anxious about Coronavirus. Find out more.
  2. Childline has put together some useful tips for young people who are worried about Coronavirus. Read more.
  3. Ten Percent Happier have created a Coronavirus Sanity Guide with practical, actionable ways of coping with stress and anxiety. Read more.
  4. If you are struggling with your mental health during this uncertain time, Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 116 123 or you can email them on  jo@samaritans.org and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
New activity and learning ideas for families!
 
  • SEND Supported are producing a weekly newsletter including things to do, activities and ideas during Covid-19. Visit the website 
  • Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery have produced downloadable ‘museum at home’ activity sheets. Find our more
  • Warwickshire Road Safety Team and Warwick Bear virtual assembly. Watch the video
  • Roald Dhal has put together a list of activities to do indoor. Find out more 
  • The Maths Factor is free for everyone to support children’s continued learning at home for the duration of the UK Schools closure period. Find out more
  • Singing hands have videos of songs signed in Makaton. Watch here
  • ThinkUKnowHome is offering home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at a time when they will spending more time online at home. Find out more 
  • Fun things to try with disabled children. Visit the website 
  • Free daily wake up and dance class by Embody Dance. Find out more
Affected services for families

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

Face to face appointments, drop in sessions, outreaches or home visiting projects are cancelled until further notice however you can still speak to CAB over the phone or via email.

All local Citizens Advice Bureau services can be contacted via the national call centre on 0300 3301163.
 

Libraries

All Warwickshire libraries are closed and all library events cancelled until further notice.  Fines will be waived, and customers do not need to worry about returning items in the short term so please stay safe at home and keep your library items with you.

Libraries online services are still available. More information can be found here.


Children and Family Centres

Where possible, Children & Family Centres will remain open, however services will be limited and all group activities have been cancelled until further notice. For details on what support you can receive and the opening times, please see the Facebook page for your area here.

Health Visiting Service

All Health Visiting clinics are closed until further notice. 
You can visit the NHS SWFT page on health visiting here which has full clinic contact details. Don’t forget to join your local Health Visiting Facebook page for updates about the service.

By Your Side stay and play sessions

The sessions (for parents struggling with perinatal mental illness to talk amongst themselves) are on hold until further notice. To access support online, visit the Facebook group here (please note this is a private group that you will need to join via Facebook).

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