Home visits during the COVID19 pandemic
In September, there may be a need for staff to conduct home visits. Leaders should consider whether a visit could be done remotely, rather than face to face, depending on the level of risk. Staff should only carry out one home visit per day and will need to go straight home to shower and change their clothes straight away.
If a home visit is agreed, staff should follow this guidance:
· Ensure that a risk assessment has been carried out prior to the visit.
· Prior to a visit, contact the family to check if anyone has coronavirus symptoms. If they have, staff should consider conducting the meeting remotely.
· Upon arrival at the home, do not enter until observations have been made of the presentation of the family e.g. any visible signs of symptoms.
· If possible, conduct the visit in the garden or private, well-ventilated space. If indoors, try to meet as close to the entrance as you can.
· For each visit, wash/sanitise hands prior to entering the property. Avoid direct contact and as much as possible keep a safe distance (at least 2 metres).
· Wash/sanitise hands after leaving the property.
· Staff should shower and change clothing as soon as they arrive home.
· In extreme circumstances, if a visit must be completed where the family are self-isolating due to symptoms or have the infection, then staff should be provided with PPE - face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser. Note that such visits should only be carried out where there are serious concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person.
· Do not share any equipment, such as pens or books, or exchange paper documents with the family. Any records of the meeting should be sent electronically.
If a meeting can be carried out safely remotely, staff should follow these steps:
· Ensure that a risk assessment has been carried out prior to the meeting.
· Confirm with parents/carers how they would prefer to be contacted - phone, what’s app, Zoom, Facetime, etc.
· You must ensure you see the child. If the child or young person is able, speak to them during the call.
· Calls should be made using work mobile phones or laptops. Do not use personal equipment.
· Staff should ensure that, when they are working from home, they can maintain confidentiality and that they will not be disturbed or overheard by other people.
· If using video conferencing, opt for an appropriate neutral background setting, so that your home environment is not shared with families.
· No video recordings of meetings should be made. Staff should use the normal school record-keeping documentation and records shared electronically.
When contacting families during COVID-19 pandemic, please include the following:
· During each visit or meeting, talk about how the family are manging emotionally, focusing on protective factors and reducing stress. Be aware of any signs of increased risks from domestic abuse and/or violence. Refer to the Warwickshire Talk2Someone website. Victims can also call 0800 408 1552.
· Make sure parents or carers are aware of sources of support and contact details. Offer to send any information to them via text message or email. You will find contact details of many support services on our webpages. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the many different support teams before contacting parents or carers.
· Encourage families to sign up for the Family Information Service (FIS) newsletter at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fis