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: 03/11/20

Following Scottish Government’s introduction of Covid-19 Local Protection Levels which came into effect as of Monday 2 November, youth work in areas of Covid-19 Local Protection Levels 0 to 3 can continue with up to a maximum of 30 individuals (including youth workers) indoors and outdoors.

Youth work in the areas of level 4 can operate with a maximum of 20 individuals (including youth workers). Face-to-face delivery in levels 3 and 4 should be targeted at those who need it most.

The new guidelines recommend that digital and other remote forms of delivery should continue where possible and appropriate across protection levels.

Click here for the updated Guiding Framework to support the delivery of youth work services.

Where do I start?

We have updated this page to help community-based youth workers and groups get up to speed as easily as possible. To help do this, we are organising information into three headings:

  1. A safe return to indoor youth work
  2. Digital youth work and safe online working
  3. Outdoor activities and detached youth work

1. A Safe Return to Indoor Youth Work

The Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and a sector working group – including Youth Scotland with YouthLink Scotland – have produced specific guidance that is aimed at the safety of young people and workers. By following this guidance, the youth work sector can plan and return safely.

We know the guidance is detailed and has many points to make, so to help groups make best use of it, we have produced a practical Action PlanRisk Assessment template and Risk Assessment Example for groups to work through. We have also put together a set of Covid-19 safety posters and an example building plan for groups to use. All of these are available to download at the bottom of this page.

2. Digital Youth Work and Safe Online Working

While groups can now begin to return to face-to-face delivery, digital youth work will remain an important part of delivery for many groups. The following advice and resources help support that ongoing vision.

Advice on safe digital youth work

At the bottom of 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.

3. Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Youth Work

Many of our members are regularly operating outdoors, others have increased their delivery outside due to the pandemic. To support this, and groups who are looking to start, we have produced some handy guides on detached youth work and outdoor activities.

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.


Other Useful Information

The information above is the most current guidance and resources, based on the phase 3 of Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis

In addition to this, there are many fantastic resources available for groups during the pandemic and we have listed just some of those below.

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

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.


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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