Support is available to those children who may be particularly vulnerable during COVID-19. The term “vulnerable” encompasses those children who are in need of protection, or in need, as defined by the Children (NI) Order 1995. Children and young people in need may include those:
- Receiving support from Health & Social Services including family support,
- Child protection and looked after children services;
- On the Child Protection Register;
- With statements of special education needs;
- Accessing Education Otherwise Than At School (EOTAS);
- Accessing Education Nurture Units;
- With emerging and diagnosed mental health needs;
- Who are homeless;
- Who are young carers;
- Subject to paramilitary threat;
- Whose parents have mental health problems;
- Whose parents have alcohol and drug addictions;
- Affected by domestic violence.
Continued supervised learning in school
For some children and young people, attending school is an important protective factor to ensure their safety and wellbeing. If attendance is deemed in a child’s best interest then they should have access to school, either in their normal setting or a local school cluster where they will be in the care of staff who are familiar to them.
Throughout COVID-19 schools remain responsible for all their registered pupils, including those defined as vulnerable and who may require a period of supervised learning in school. Where a parent / guardian / social worker wishes to arrange this, they should contact the child’s school in the first instance.
However, as the period of school closure continues, it is important that every effort is taken to ensure vulnerable children and young people are protected. As a result, the EA is providing additional support in instances where a parent / guardian / social worker / is unable to arrange the required supervised learning for a vulnerable child.
To make a request for support in finding a school place for a vulnerable child or young person, please complete and submit the form below. Once received, we will work with you, the child’s school and other professionals as necessary to determine if attending school is in the child or young person’s best interests. If it is, we will try to arrange a suitable place as quickly as possible, including any additional support that may be required, identified through a risk assessment and management plan.
Once we receive your form, we will endeavour to contact you as soon as possible to begin this process.
EA Safeguarding Children Guidance
Counselling and support
Online counselling and support can be provided for ages 9-25 through the EA Youth Service stay connected website at www.youthonline.org.uk
In addition, post primary and special school pupils can access the Independent Counselling Service for Schools. More details are available in below document.