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Tuesday 24 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)
To make sure that parents, carers, professionals and partners stay informed over the coming weeks, the Family Information Service newsletter will be issued on a regular basis to ensure that information and advice relating to Coronavirus (also known as Covid-19) is readily available and easy to access. 

There will be lots of information over the coming weeks to support you and your family.

In this edition of the Family Information Service Newsletter you will find more advice on Covid-19, how to spot fraudulent sellers, fire safety tips for the home, a child friendly explanation of Coronavirus, lots of activity suggestions for children and more. 

If anyone you know would like to subscribe to the newsletter, they can sign up here
Warwickshire County Council local advice on Coronavirus

School closures and education guidance

Parents and carers can contact Warwickshire County Council if they have any concerns or queries, or for information as the network of provision changes over the weeks ahead.

A new parental helpline on 01926 412021 has been set up to operate between the hours of 08:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday. 
 

However, parents and carers are advised that this number is a secondary source of information.  The first port of call, wherever possible, should be the Government website 

Food banks and free school meals guidance 

Residents can apply to Warwickshire Welfare Scheme for help with food and energy.  This can be support with food parcels, food bank vouchers or with credit for energy.

If your child is registered for Free School Meals you can also apply for six weeks of support to buy food whilst they are not at school.

Apply by calling on 0800 4081448 or emailing warwickshirelocalwelfarescheme@warwickshire.gov.uk

For more information on the government advice on support available, click here.

What's new?

Be aware of scammers taking advantage of Covid-19

Warwickshire County Council is warning residents that fraudsters are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to scam vulnerable people.

Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where the virus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800K. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers.

Click the link below to find out more about how to spot the signs of a potential scam. 
 

Learn more >

Coronavirus - a child friendly explanation

Manuela Molina has created a short book to support and reassure children under the age of 7 about Covid-19. This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation.

It is important to point out that this resource does not seek to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool based on fantasy.

Read more >

Fire service issue safety advice for those staying at home!

There will be some real changes in homes across Warwickshire over the next few weeks with more people working from home, children off school and people self-isolating or social distancing.  With this brings its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to staying fire safe. 

Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to reduce the chances of having a fire in your home, the most important being to ensure that you have working smoke alarms fitted onto each floor of your home.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service have provided a number of tips to help you and your family stay safe at home.

Learn more >

Child Law Advice – COVID-19 FAQs
 

The charity Child Law Advice has created a Coronavirus FAQ's page for advice and information on all education-related questions such as: 

Will pupils still gain GCSE and a-level qualifications now that the examinations have been cancelled? 

Will absences from school be authorised from Friday 20th March? 

 

Read more >
Activity and learning ideas for families
  1. National Georgaphic provides quizzes and activities for younger children. Click here
  2. Oxford Owl is a great website to help your children to learn. Free activities include maths games, spelling tests, eBooks and much more! Visit their website here.
  3. Warwickshire Little Ankle Biters have written a useful blog with some tips and tricks on keeping children entertained during self-isolation. Read more.
  4. In response to Covid-19, Phonics Play is free to use during this period. Find out more
  5. Well known fitness coach Joe Wicks has designed live workouts specifically for kids, Monday to Friday at 9am. Check out the first one from 23 March here
  6. Check out Edinburgh Zoo's live webcams, can you spot Tanami the koala? Take a look!
  7. Twinkl have created free home learning and school closure packs to help your children learn at home. Find out more.
  8. Twinkl also have a home learning hub that is updated daily. Learn more.
Affected services for families

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

CAB are working to provide the best, most sustainable service during the Coronavirus outbreak. They are no longer providing face to face appointments, drop in sessions, outreaches or home visiting projects unless in an emergency, however you can still speak to them over the phone or via email.

Contact South Warwickshire Citizens Advice Bureau

Contact North Warwickshire Citizens Advice Bureau

Contact Rugby Citizens Advice Bureau by calling 01788 566238 (Mon-Weds & Friday, 10:00 - 14:00) or emailing adviser@brancab.org.uk

Contact Nuneaton and Bedworth Citizens Advice Bureau by calling 02476 494393 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, 10:00 - 14:00) or emailing info@brancab.org.uk

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

Libraries

From Monday 23 March, all Warwickshire Libraries sites will be closed to the public and all library events cancelled until further notice. The mobile library service will also not operate, however, the home library deliveries service will be maintained as much as possible.

Fines will be waived, and customers need not 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 - you can renew books online 24/7 and download eBooks, eMagazines and eAudiobooks and eNewspapers.

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

Well Baby Clinics & Introduction to Solid Foods groups in Warwickshire have been cancelled by the Warwickshire Health Visiting Service from Tuesday 17 March for a minimum of 2 weeks.

If you have an appointment, please advise the health visiting team before the appointment if you, a family member or your child has a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

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. The weekly stay and play will move online until the groups can start again.
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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