Working together to stay safe and to support young people during the Covid-19 pandemic
Along with our colleagues at our Area Associations, we have been making adjustments to how we work and how we support members, workers and young people during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
Community-based youth work has a vital and positive role to play for our young people during challenging times like this, and we’d like to reassure members that we will be working hard to support them and young people as we all adapt.
What steps Youth Scotland is taking
Firstly, Youth Scotland are working with our Area Associations on how best to support community-based youth groups in these unprecedented times. We are looking at viable ways to adapt and continue to support the network in all we do.
As per the advice from Government and NHS Scotland, we have stopped in-person youth worker training delivery; Youth Scotland Awards training and workshops; direct delivery, events and residentials with young people and workers. Our office is closed to visitors but the Youth Scotland team are still working hard, and you can contact them if you have any questions or specific enquiries about your work with them. For general enquiries, you can email the office in the first instance and we can get in touch from there: email@example.com For those in an Area Association area, please contact them directly.
We are using our digital communications to help keep members and community-based workers and groups informed about the latest advice and updates for the sector. Join our newsletter or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and support.
Post lockdown Readiness Guide
Post Lockdown Readiness Guide - First step planning for your youth group/organisation after the COVID-19 lockdown. This document is a guide to being ready for Covid-19 lockdown restrictions being eased, particularly for community-based youth work groups and workers. You can download the guide at the foot of this page. The guide is designed to aid planning alongside the Scottish Government’s publication Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis.
Thanks to the support of some of our key funders, STV Children's Appeal, The Robertson Trust, The Gannochy Trust, The Ponton House Trust, Cattanach and Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund, we have been able to re-purpose some funding and add it to some new funding to offer immediate support and resources to community youth groups. We launched the Youth Scotland Action Fund and you can read more and apply for up to £500 on this page now
Adapting our training and programmes
Youth work is a tremendously resourceful and creative sector and we are confident that over the days and weeks to come, fresh thinking and ideas on how we continue to support young people will develop; we hope to share those ideas and best practice.
Digital youth work is something we have been passionate advocates of, and we are exploring how we make use of the tools to support the network and our core offering. Remember – digital youth work is still youth work, just using different tools! We are already trialling delivery from our worker training programme and adapting our key programmes to use digital solutions for delivery where possible - keep an eye on our updates for more details.
Child Protection Training and support
Youth Scotland is continuing to offer Child Protection Awareness Training through online courses, delivered by Youth Scotland’s Child Protection trainers. For dates of courses and how to apply: https://www.youthscotland.org.uk/training-events-bookings/
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.
Changes to PVG system during Coronavirus
Disclosure Scotland have advised that they are currently giving priority to applications for roles that support the response to COVID 19 in the following sectors: healthcare, pharmaceutical, childcare, social work, social care, prisons and justice, befriending.
Youth Scotland have updated our PVG process to adapt to Coronavirus and will continue to support members with PVG checks. For members who have new staff, volunteers or trustees who require checking, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange to send you the appropriate new forms and to undertake remote ID verification. Please note that depending on the role, this process may take longer than normal. If you have already submitted forms, please contact us and we will give you a status update.
If you have staff/volunteers/trustees that are due to have a routine scheme update done in line with good practice (e.g. every 3 years), please can you hold these applications for the moment but note that these are due once the system fully reopens.
If you process your PVG’s through Youth Borders, Youth 1st or LAYC, please contact them directly.
If you process PVG’s with Volunteer Scotland or another umbrella body, please contact them directly.
Coronavirus: Employer's resource centre
Our legal advice partners, Law At Work, have created a resource centre to advise employers during coronavirus. They are revising an updating advice for employers, particularly around the government Job Retention Scheme on a very regular basis. Youth Scotland member groups can also login to their LAW portal to access further support and templates for the following: Change from Lay-Off to Furlough Leave, Letter to a School confirming parents key worker status, Unoccupied Building & Offices Risk Assessment, Letter Seeking Agreement to Furlough.
Youth Awards at home and online
We are now able to offer both the Hi5 Award and Dynamic Youth Award (DYA) as an exciting option for anyone looking to recognise achievement during lockdown. We have even included a free sample activity toolkit that can offer suggestions for activities for young people aged 5+.
All orders will receive a pack including printable and editable versions of our popular Hi5 Award and DYA challenge sheets. Orders can choose to receive and use our free toolkit and they can mix and match DYA and Hi5 Award products. The Hi5 Award and DYA are exciting awards recognised by the SQA. The Hi5 sits at level 2 and the DYA at level 3 on the SCQF. The Hi5 Award is for anyone aged 5+, and the DYA is for those aged 10+.
Remember: youth clubs that are Youth Scotland member groups can claim 10 challenge sheets for free as part of their membership package! This can be a mix of Hi5 and DYA challenge sheets.
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.
Links and resources for groups
Communication with each other is vital at this stage. Below are some key sources for ongoing updates and resources that can help during the pandemic. In addition to this, Youth Scotland will continue regular updates through E-news and social media. If member groups are communicating with their local areas, please do tag us on social so we can help get the message out.
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
Pages and links:
- The Youth Scotland Network. Your local Area Association is a great place to start with help and local sector news: https://youthscotland.org.uk/members/our-membership-network/
- Youth Scotland also maintain public access a further range of safeguarding guidance and template policies on our Youth Work Essentials website: http://www.youthworkessentials.org/safe-sound.aspx
- Scottish Government continue to offer daily updates and briefings: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Scottish Government have published a framework for decision making: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making/pages/1/
- NHS Scotland have updated advice on the virus, self-isolation and FAQ: https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus
- Health Protection Scotland: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/
- Legal information and advice – Youth Scotland members all have access to Law At Work (LAW) a legal advice and support membership benefit. LAW have recently included specific advice on how Coronavirus affects HR and employment law: http://www.youthworkessentials.org/employment-law.aspx
- Information for the youth work sector from YouthLink Scotland: https://www.youthlinkscotland.org/covid-19-guidance/
- Information for third sector organisations SCVO, including a dedicated Covid-19 hub: https://scvo.org/support/covid-19/
- Information and resources for young people: (Young Scot) https://young.scot/campaigns/national/coronavirus
- Information for Charities OSCR (particularly relevant if you are changing what you do to respond to community need; or if you have an AGM in the forthcoming period) https://www.oscr.org.uk/news/charities-and-coronavirus-an-update-from-the-regulator/
- THINKUKNOW has a range of tools for parents/carers https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/support-your-child-at-home/
- Volunteer Scotland has produced a useful guide for organisations: https://www.volunteerscotland.net/for-organisations/disclosure-services/pvg-and-coronavirus-covid-19/
- Funders – various national funders have issued statements – please check the website/social media page of your funder for specific statements.