Carer support and respite
We appreciate that the current restrictions pose additional challenges for carers. We are committed to working together to support carers in this unprecedented situation to ensure children and young people are afforded the stability and certainty they require. This may include providing respite in exceptional circumstances if it is necessary for placement preservation. General respite for the next seven days should be delivered where possible.
DCP case workers continue to be available via email and phone and will increase their phone contact with children and carers during this period. We would welcome active efforts from your staff along these lines also, and in the event that a carer or child requires additional support please do not hesitate to escalate this to the DCP caseworker to ensure the required specialist support is available.
Education and Child Care
With respect to arrangements for school and child care: schools and child care centres will remain open for vulnerable children, children under the guardianship of the Chief Executive and children of essential workers. In saying this, we are very supportive of children in care remaining home for the 7 day period of the lockdown.
Family Contact and Home Visits
For the next seven days, family contact is temporarily suspended and where appropriate digital alternatives will be introduced, for example: FaceTime, Zoom and MS Teams. We appreciate that not all families have access to technology to allow for web or phone based contact.
In exceptional circumstances, where suspending contact significantly impacts the child, Regional Directors may approve contact occurring.
We have also requested of the DCP Residential Care directorate that non-essential visits to residential care sites be suspended to reduce movement between sites. While we understand that some staff movement will be necessary, we are aiming to keep this to a minimum. Can you please ensure you maintain the same standards for the non-government residential care properties.
Continuity of essential service delivery
We appreciate that as you focus on ensuring service continuity, we will need to continue current placements and respond to new placement requests including Placement and Support Packages (PaSP) and family based care.
The DCP Placement Services Unit (PSU) will continue to operate business as usual, and their contact details remain the same, email: DCPPlacementServices@sa.gov.au or via telephone 8463 3666.
PSU staff will work closely with service providers regarding placement availability.
COVID-19 testing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
*NEW TESTING ADVICE 23 JULY 6:30pm*
COVID-19 testing for children and young people in care – NEW ADVICE FROM SA HEALTH
We have been working with SA Health with regard to COVID-19 testing arrangements for children in care. This arrangement is prioritised for children and young people in residential settings or those children in family-based care that need priority access.
We have been advised that:
· During office hours (usually 8am – 6pm, although this is subject to change) Lot 14 at the Old Royal Adelaide Hospital site has been established (see map)
Afterhours the Victoria Park drive through (using the Halifax Street entrance) is available from 6pm – 12am (noting these opening hours are also subject to change, depending on demand).
Importantly, a passcode is required to access these priority services. The passcode changes daily and can be accessed via the DCP Call Centre by telephoning 8293 9806.
As a reminder please carry agency ID / carer ID when attending the clinics.
All other clinics and testing sites remain available in metropolitan and regional areas and should continue to be accessed if possible.
The SA Health directions and advice for the use and wearing of PPE is a very useful resource. Just a reminder, that In the event that you require further PPE, you are able to contact SA Health for PPE supplies via the following email: HealthPSCMSCOCustomerService@sa.gov.au
We appreciate that this is a stressful time for staff and families. Our sector provides an essential service and we very much value the role of carer families and residential care staff.
If travelling to work or to a child-related appointment during this lockdown period to carry your work identification or carer card with you.
Thank you for your continued commitment to ensuring the safety of children and young people in care. Stay safe.