As the situation around COVID-19 evolves, Cafcass has put together the following recommendations to help children and families. We will do everything possible to assist you and ensure that our service operates as efficiently as possible. This material will be updated on a regular basis.
Families can get help with effective co-parenting and kid arrangements
The government provided detailed instructions on staying at home and away from others on March 23, clarifying that children under the age of 18 can be transported between their parents’ houses when their parents do not live in the same household. Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, issued supplementary advice on compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders on March 24.
Parents who have filed a fresh child arrangements application or an enforcement application due to concerns emerging from the pandemic and the ‘Stay at home’ guidelines can now get help. The government has agreed to allow courts to make some temporary changes to their normal procedures in order to enable you get the aid you need as soon as possible. Although not all courts will follow these reforms, if yours does, you can get help here. When you read the advise, you’ll notice that it mentions getting a letter from the court if the judge thinks the application is particularly about COVID-19 limits. This letter can be read in its entirety here.
In these uncertain times, our National Improvement Service has put together some tips to encourage effective co-parenting and assist maintain your child’s routine. It’s critical that families work together to identify solutions that are best for the child’s health and the health of others around them. For more information, please go here.
Please see our page of resources for parents and caregivers for a list of additional resources and organizations that can provide independent advice.
Coronavirus advice for children and teenagers
The Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) has released a new COVID-19 information booklet for kids and teens that is jam-packed with helpful tips. The pamphlet contains ‘top ideas’ for staying in touch with family and friends, making the most of being at home, and what to do if you feel unsafe or ill. Members of the FJYPB also discuss how COVID-19 is affecting them.
The World Health Organization has prepared particular guidance to help children and young people cope with the stress produced by Coronavirus, which may be found HERE. If they’re worried:
Allow them more time and attention to express their worries and receive answers to their queries.
Allow them to express their emotions and assist them in re-framing their thinking in a more constructive manner. Remember that this may take some time, therefore YoungMinds has put together some material to assist them feel less concerned or recommend that they seek outside help.
Finally, it is critical that children and adolescents maintain a daily routine as much as possible since it is reassuring. It is excellent to encourage schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but they should not be forced to do so if they are upset or overwhelmed.
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