Covid-19

A Youth Scotland network update on operations and support during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic

Guidance and Support for Community-Based Youth Work During Covid-19

Updated: 03/06/2021

Updated Guidance for Youth Work is available

As of 00:01 Saturday 5 June, many parts of Scotland will transition to new Protection Levels. Most travel restrictions across the country have lifted, with some adjustments for travelling through areas of a higher Protection Level. This guide has advice and resources for community-based youth groups working towards resuming both indoor and outdoor delivery.

The Youth Scotland Post Lockdown Readiness Guide has advice and resources for community-based youth groups working towards resuming both indoor and outdoor delivery and is available at the foot of this page.

Glasgow to move to Level 2 and Scotland remains on the right track

As the vaccination programme advances through age groups some restrictions are to be eased sooner in areas where case rates and prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) allow.

The First Minister outlined the next steps to Parliament and confirmed that Glasgow will move to Level 2 from 00:01 on Saturday 5 June 2021.

The following mainland local authority areas will also remain at Level 2, while the situation with the virus is monitored closely:

  • East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire
  • East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, and South Ayrshire
  • North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire
  • Edinburgh and Midlothian
  • Stirling and Clackmannanshire
  • Dundee

At the same time, from 00:01 on Saturday 5 June 2021, these 15 mainland local authorities will move to Level 1:

  • Highland and Argyll & Bute
  • Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray
  • Angus and Perth & Kinross
  • Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • West Lothian and East Lothian
  • The Scottish Borders
  • Dumfries & Galloway

All islands currently in Level 1 will move to Level 0 at the same time due to sustained low numbers of cases. Everyone is encouraged to get tested to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by finding cases that might be missed, as around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms.

Guidance on the delivery of youth work

The key information for youth work providers in Level 1 is:  

Working with young people under 18 years:

Youth work permitted indoors and outdoors with a maximum number of 30 people in any space (including youth workers).

Working with young people over 18 years (or a blended group):

Youth work indoors and outdoors with a maximum number of 15 people including youth workers.

Travel

You can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area unless for a permitted reason.


The key information for youth work providers in Level 2 is:  

Working with young people under 18 years:

Youth work permitted indoors and outdoors with a maximum number of 30 people in any space (including youth workers).

Working with young people over 18 years (or a blended group):

Youth work indoors and outdoors with a maximum number of 15 people including youth workers.

Travel

You can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area unless you have a permitted reason like going to work or caring for a vulnerable person.


The key information for youth work providers in Level 3 is:  

  • Outdoor and digital youth work remain the preferred methods of delivery at this time.
  • Indoor youth work may be permitted for select reasons (see the table below).
  • No delivery should exceed 30 persons in any space, including youth workers (under 18 years old) or 15 persons outdoors and no more than 5 indoors, including youth workers (over 18 years old).
  • you can only leave or enter a Level 3 area for a permitted reason such as going to work or supporting a vulnerable person.

YouthLink Scotland and the youth work sector updated the Guiding Framework to support the delivery of youth work services on 24 May to reflect changes to the Levels. 

Digital youth work

We expect digital youth work to remain part of community-based youth work for the foreseeable future. Groups may be reluctant or unable to resume face-to-face youth work at this stage. Youth Scotland has some valuable resources available to support this further down this page. We also regularly run online training to support workers

Prior to resuming face-to-face youth activities

We would advise all community-based youth workers and groups to be aware of the ‘Expectations before delivery’ section of the Guiding Framework to support the delivery of youth work services and to carry out their own risk assessment of any planned activity.

Good communication with young people and their parents or carers can set expectations and ensure that safety questions and concerns can be dealt with.

The table in our readiness guide below indicates what restrictions remain in place at all Levels for youth work groups and young people.

Youth work in schools

As part of education recovery, outdoor youth work may now be delivered during the school day, in line with  Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools and in agreement with schools and Local Authorities. More details can be found on page 7 of the Guiding Framework to support the delivery of youth work services

Youth Scotland Resources

Digital Youth Work and Safe Online Working

During lockdown, digital youth work will return to being the most common form of delivery for many groups. The following advice and resources help support these activities.

Advice on safe digital youth work

On this page, you can download a quick guide on suggestions and advice for safe online youth work. We are asked: how can we reach young people digitally? How can we do it safely? What activities can we arrange online when our youth centres are closed? Safeguarding the young people, you work with and keeping yourself safe are still top priorities.

Youth Highland, our Area Association partner have produced a guide from their experience of working online. It also includes their views on social media and other digital tools - download at the foot of this page.

Cyber security advice from Police Scotland

Police Scotland have issued some very accessible cyber security videos that their colleagues in the City of London Police have shared. The videos cover: Phishing, Vishing, Multi-Factor Authentication, Passwords, Software updates, Social engineering and Securing your router. The topics may sound daunting, but the videos avoid jargon and explain things clearly. See the download at the foot of this page.

Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Youth Work

Many groups will now be turning to outdoor delivery as spring arrives. We have produced some handy guides on detached youth work and outdoor activities. 

Youth Scotland's Outdoor Games Film Tutorial

 Young girl pointing at user with playground in the background

Get ready to have fun with your youth group outside with our new FREE Outdoor Games Session tutorial film! In less than 15 minutes, you can learn some safe, fun outdoor games activities you can do with your groups, with social distancing, hand hygiene and safe use of equipment.

Developed with support from CashBack for Communities, these games require either no equipment or minimal equipment and we will talk you through how to use the equipment safely. Where possible, we have also added instructions on how to play online!

To access the Outdoor Games Film for FREE, register here and you will be emailed a link to the Outdoor Games Film. 

Youth Scotland’s Guide to Detached Youth Work

This pack is for youth workers who are interested in detached youth work, whether they are already a detached youth worker or wanting to develop detached youth work. This pack looks at the practicalities of detached youth work and the benefits of it.

Youth Scotland’s Guide to Out and About Youth Work

This pack is for groups who are interested in outdoor activities. The outdoors can be a great place to learn and have fun and can make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of young people and adults. Positive experiences can generate an interest in the outdoors which goes far beyond the boundaries of your youth group.

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Other Useful Information

The following resources are available for groups during the pandemic and beyond.

Child Protection Additional Guidance from Scottish Government

Scottish Government are advising that there is likely to be a rise in child protection concerns due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on families and wider society.

In light of this, Scottish Government have issues some additional Covid-19 guidance which supplements the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-supplementary-national-child-protection-guidance

Occupational Risk Assessment Guidance

This guidance, from Scottish Government, explains the risk assessment process in relation to the specific risk of COVID-19 to individuals in the workplace. In particular, this is relevant to those staff members who are returning to work after shielding, those who are returning to normal duties after COVID-19 related restrictions, those who are returning to the workplace after working from home or anyone who has a concern about a particular vulnerability to COVID-19. There are three things which affect the occupational health risk from COVID-19. Download the guide below.

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More guidance will be available on this page, among other sources. To ensure you know about the guidance as soon as it’s made available, follow us on Twitter Facebook and sign up to our E-newsletter  

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