The National Youth Agency (NYA) as the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England has, in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, developed youth sector specific advice and guidance. The guidance will support local providers, leaders, volunteers and young people to remain safe when engaging in youth sector activities. It is intended to guide the youth sector in opening up services for young people at the right pace and time.
Below is a summary of the key points to carrying out work with vulnerable children and young people under the Red Level.
Activities are permitted during Red Level
- Online & virtual youth sector delivery
- Detached & outreach youth work (outdoor support)
- 1-2-1 support for vulnerable YP (indoors)
- Delivery of support groups for vulnerable YP (indoors with staff)
- Drop-in 1-2-1 triage services
Support Groups (formally referred to as a bubble)
- Targeted support groups sessions indoors are allowed. Follow Covid-19 secure guidance set out in version 3 of the NYA’s Covid-19 guidance
- Attendees must be formally invited to attend a support group – keep consistent bubbles as same group as much as possible, but it’s NOT a MUST
- No definition of vulnerable YP provided. This is left to local professional judgement. NYA will not provide a definition
- Support groups can take place if it’s reasonably necessary for the group to meet
- Indoor / Outdoor support – maximum of 15 individuals including staff, leader, carers, volunteers, etc. i.e. 12 YP + 3 workers = 15 individuals
- Providers should only allow 1 bubble at a time in their venue. Other staff members can be on-site for work. If more than 1 bubble at the same time, they should be in clearly separate rooms and be able to use separate toilets.
- Can offer back-to-back sessions (subject to venue cleansing in between) with the same team leaders / workers
- Community centres / libraries / places of worship can be opened and used for the purposes of providing support group activities (leisure centres, gyms, etc are not permitted to be opened)
- Private dwellings are not allowed, including home visits to young people are also prohibited.
- Permitted 1-2-1 based drop-in service to provide 1-2-1 support
- The purpose for triaging YP is to assess their needs & decide if they need to be invited into a support group (you don’t need to call this triage, you can call it what fits your programme)
- Safeguarding protocols must apply, i.e. 2 staff in the building
Detached & Outreach
- Youth worker permitted to meet & support YP outside in the community (open spaces, parks, at the house doorstep, but no to go inside their house)
- FDYN guidance will be updated next week
- Vulnerable YP are permitted to travel to attend support groups/sessions. Supported transport is also permitted.
- Trips, visits & residentials are not permitted
- Support groups should have pre-planned activities available & not meet and decide
- Support group sessions should be kept to a minimum (you are not running usual youth work, but activities to support vulnerable young people)
- Face covering – everyone 11+ needs to wear face covering in enclosed spaces – except when eating, drinking, playing sports
- Encourage 16+ to use the NHS test & trace App
- Community sports are not allowed i.e. your local football club. Your vulnerable group is allowed to do sports as an activity for engagement
- No age restrictions – from new-borns to 25-year olds
- Templates for action plans, risk assessments, Covid-19 guides etc can be found here.
Full NYA Covid-19 guidelines can be read here.