Last reviewed: 2/10/2020
Last updated: 2/10/2020

COVID-19 has placed and continues to place increased pressures on disadvantaged children and families. Across the country, social workers have adapted their approach and are being creative to ensure they can still be there for those who need it most.

Sadly, the impact of this crisis for child protection will likely be felt long after the threat of the virus itself has receded. This is why we continue to deliver the Frontline programme and our other work, while keeping the safety and wellbeing of our staff and stakeholders at the forefront of all of our decisions.

We are continuing to support and develop our Frontline programme participants, including the 2020 Cohort who began the programme this summer. Like other organisations, we have adapted in response to the advice laid out by Public Health England, moving to online delivery of our programmes. Our online transition group has developed a range of innovative teaching approaches to provide an alternative and equally high-quality learning experience for all programme activities.

We have also looked at where we can put new focus to offer the best support to the sector at this time. We have run training sessions through the Fellowship on topics relevant to the lockdown, such as sexual abuse and violence within families. These sessions have been made available to all social workers, in addition to fellows.

We will continue to communicate all relevant changes and updates directly to participants.

The Fellowship during the pandemic

We are committed to increasing support for our network of fellows who continue to be active and influential within statutory social work, the charitable sector and beyond. While there will inevitably be a pause in some of the work that they have been leading on, we are encouraging those who may be self-isolating or temporarily home-based to use this time to further develop their thinking around innovations in social work and how these could be implemented in practice.

Every Wednesday, we have been hosting a virtual Social Work Coffee Break for fellows and social workers to learn, discuss and reflect on a relevant topic. This weekly webinar features guest speakers including professional coaches, teachers, community organisers and experts in social work practice, who share practical, useful advice each week. Guests so far have included coach and phsychotherapist Bridget Knowles, journalist and founder of Teacher Tapp Laura McInerney, and Paul Amuzie from Citizens UK.