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Tuesday 31 March 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 on claiming benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak, tips on how to handle parenting during this difficult time, help if you're feeling anxious, advice if you're experiencing domestic abuse 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 to keep your children learning and entertained throughout isolation. 

As always, please stay informed on the latest guidance 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):
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.

Coronavirus and claiming benefits

Understanding Universal Credit has put together useful page that is updated regularly on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by Coronavirus including information on Statutory Sick Pay, Jobcentre appointments and much more.


 

Read more >

Escaping domestic abuse during Covid-19

Women and children experiencing and escaping from domestic abuse are likely to be affected by Coronavirus. Self-isolation is likely to shut down routes to support and safety for many women, who may face even greater barriers to finding time away from the perpetrator to seek help. If you, or someone you know, need support and advise, you can contact Women’s Aid below. 

Read more >

Supporting vulnerable children

We realise it can be difficult to know what to say to children about the global crisis. Some children may be especially vulnerable at this time of uncertainty. This may include (but is not limited to) children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), children who are ‘Looked After’ and children who are deemed to be Children in Need. These children may need extra support to ensure that they maintain good levels of wellbeing.

Read more >

WCC's Chief Executive reassures the public

Warwickshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Monica Fogarty would like to reassure residents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and give an update on the many actions the Council is taking to keep services running, and help residents stay safe during this difficult time.

Read more >

Handling parenting through Coronavirus

No one said that parenting is easy and we know that it is a worrying time for many. You may have concerns in relation to your pregnancy or children. You may want access to helpful parenting information. The Institute of Health Visiting has pulled together information from trusted organisations to support you and your family during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Learn more >

How to cope if you're feeling anxious

Coronavirus is dominating headlines around the world. While the media focus is on the impact on people’s physical health and what’s being done to prevent the spread of the disease; anxiety about the virus can also have an impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Read more for some advice on how to cope. 
 

Read more >

Covid-19: Guidance for parents and carers

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) have lots of information on their website to support parents and carers throughout the Coronavirus pandemic including useful FAQ's about school closures and free school meals.

If you have any further questions, you can call the WCC parental helpline on 01926 412021 between 08.00 to 18.00 (Mon-Fri).
 

Read more >

Do you have face masks and other PPE?

To limit the spread of Covid-19, we need to ensure supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline workers. If you have any FFP2 face masks or other PPE such as disposable gloves, please contact Warwickshire County Council (WCC) below via email. WCC will then distribute them to health and care staff who are supporting the vulnerable in Warwickshire.

Contact WCC >
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!
  1. Heritage and Culture Warwickshire have put together resources for families to take part in at home. Visit the website
  2. Yoga videos designed for kids age 3+. Watch now
  3. Free art activities from The Artful Parent on Facebook. Find out more
  4. BBC Teach is home to thousands of free curriculum-mapped videos, arranged by age-group and subject to help your children learn at home. Discover more
  5. BBC Supermovers offers fun curriculum linked resources to get moving while learning. Find out more
  6. Watch as the letters of the alphabet tell stories and make words using phonics. Play the learning game, watch clips and print colouring pages. Visit BBC Alphablocks
  7. CBeebies Radio provides fun radio stories, poems, songs and listening activities for babies, toddlers and young children. Listen here
  8. Museum activities to keep children entertained from kidsinmuseums.org.uk
  9. Wriggle Dance Theatre has been busy creating brand new digital content for families with young children (age 2-5). There are FREE bite-sized creative dance sessions over two weeks starting on Monday 30th March. 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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