Guidance and Support for Community-Based Youth Work and COVID-19
Summarised changes from The Scottish Government
From the Scottish Government website:
All covid rules and restrictions have been lifted in Scotland, but the virus has not gone away.
Use 'covid sense' to help protect yourself and others:
- get your vaccine when offered to ensure you are fully protected
- open windows when socialising indoors
- wear a face covering in indoor public places and on public transport
- wash your hands to protect yourself
- take a PCR test and isolate if you have symptoms
- take an LFD test before visiting someone in a hospital or care home
Care for yourself and others to help slow down the spread of the virus and reduce pressure on our health services.
More information can be found here
Youth Work Specific Guidance
Since the first lockdown began, Youth Scotland has worked to provide community-based youth work with an easy, accessible overview of the appropriate guidance for our sector. Additionally, we have provided useful resources and advice from other partners. As Scotland moves from legal requirements to a risk-based best practice model, our new guide (download below) will signpost the latest official guidance, where to access Youth Scotland’s risk assessment resources and any additional training and support that may be relevant to community-based youth groups.
Note: all Youth Scotland advice is designed to offer specific support to delivery in a community-based youth work setting. It should continue to be used as a supplement to the national youth work guidance (Guiding principles to support the safe delivery of youth work and Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland guidelines (https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ )
Guidance on the delivery of youth work
YouthLink Scotland has published an overview of guidance for the safe delivery of youth work Guiding principles to support the safe delivery of youth work. This short guide has useful general advice on safe delivery, including the following:
Guiding principles for youth work delivery
The following guiding principles are recommended good practice approaches to the safe delivery of youth work. They have been based on the existing expectations before delivery, that youth work leaders have been following for the past two years:
- Delivery of youth work will be informed by risk assessment.
- Protective measures will be in place and communicated.
- Taking a rights-based approach to delivery, including the protection of those at higher risk.
- Clear communication processes - to ensure staff, volunteers, service users and parents understand the measures you have put in place to manage risk.
Prior to resuming face-to-face youth activities
While some groups have already transitioned to face-to-face delivery or hybrid working, some are just now able to access meeting places and facilities or have been waiting for restrictions to ease. Whatever your group’s situation, we would suggest some simple points to guide any planned return or any ongoing delivery in a manner consistent with the ‘covid sense’ approach.
- Risk assess. Each community-based youth group is unique and nobody understands the local situation and young people like the volunteers and workers involved. Risk assess your own circumstances to stay as safe and comfortable as you need to be. You can download free risk assessment templates at the bottom of this page.
- Communicate. Open communication between volunteers, workers, young people, parents, Schools and the community can ensure everyone has shared expectations and feels comfortable voicing their views or concerns.
- Be inclusive. Community-based youth work is about universal access and as we renew our activities and in-person meetings, it can be helpful to be guided by flexibility so the concerns or needs of the wider group or clinically vulnerable are met in your spaces. This may involve hybrid activities or just continuing to use facemasks or social distancing in your meeting place.
The Scottish Government website maintains advice for colleges, universities and CLD here Coronavirus (COVID-19): universities, colleges and community learning and development providers
Youth Scotland Resources
Digital youth work
We expect digital youth work to remain part of community-based youth work for the foreseeable future. Some 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
Safe Online Working
The following advice and resources help support the continued use of digital youth work activities.
Advice on safe digital youth work
At the bottom of our COVID-19 webpage, 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 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.
Please note that when planning to re-commence any activities, you need to adhere to the guidelines stipulated by the Scottish Government because should any insurance claim occur, your activities will be checked to see if they have adhered to these and if not, there would be a chance the claim will be repudiated.
Hygiene and infection control measures
As more facilities become available, you may be looking at planning for cleaning schedules, provision of washing facilities and / or hand gel, notices about how to prevent spread of infection, employee health screening and how to deal with any incidences of COVID-19 infections in their setting. You may also have to limit the use of resources such as games or sports equipment and put additional cleaning measures in place for these.
You should make contact with the owner/operator of your building if you do not have your own premises to discuss planning for hygiene and cleaning arrangements.
Any further guidance will be made 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
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 to 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 updates and briefings: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Scottish Government have published an updated framework for decision making: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework update - February 2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
- 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/
- Creating Safe Spaces Guide from SCDC: https://www.scdc.org.uk/supporting-communities-safely/14#Step-by-step-guide
- 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 and a digital youth work hub 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/
- 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.