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Social workers facing coronavirus for the sake of the kids

By George Makin | Sandwell | Coronavirus | Published:

Social workers in Sandwell are ensuring the safety of nearly 3,500 vulnerable children – including doing homes visits despite the risk during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sandwell Council

The number of youngsters were revealed after a charity donated 500 face masks to Sandwell’s Children’s Trust.

They will be used to protect children as front line staff often meet with them either in their own homes, while with foster parents or in specialist residential units.

The donation highlights the risks social and youth workers face as they support vulnerable youngsters.

A council employee who works with vulnerable children in a neighbouring authority, said staff were still doing home visits because its impossible to ensure kids are are safe without them.

Asking not to be named, she said: “We are doing as much work from offices as possible but you can’t avoid home visits to ensure children are being supported and safe.

“We do try to ring first and check if there is any illness in families but often there is no option but to go out and check.”

She added: “No one is complaining because at the end of the day, you can’t abandon them.”

This week, Sandwell children’s trust received donations from charities including 500 facemasks from Buddhist Tzu Chi group.

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A spokesman for the trust, said:“ Sandwell Children’s Trust was delighted to receive a donation of 500 face masks from the Buddhist Tzu Chi charity. These will help us maintain our stocks for the coming months.

“The trust is currently supporting 3,406 children and young people of which 874 are children in care. The safety and wellbeing of these children and young people, and the staff that are supporting them is of paramount importance.

“All home visits are subject to a risk assessment, and staff have access to personal protective equipment where necessary. Where home visits are not possible, social workers, personal advisers and family support workers use a range of alternative methods to provide support.”

The donation came after Sandwell Council called on businesses to donate spare personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep staff safe as they care for vulnerable people.

Companies can make donations by visiting https://bit.ly/3aWI6HF

George Makin

By George Makin

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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