Safely returning to school

02 June 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 3

Abstract

School health teams have worked tirelessly to provide services and support children and young people. Now, as they are beginning to return to school, it is important to prepare to address other difficulties that they may be experiencing.

During COVID-19, school health services have worked tirelessly with our schools across a whole host of issues ranging from health protection advice, food poverty through to resuscitation guidance and PPE in special schools; it has been a team effort with some amazing partnership working. Now, as our children are beginning to return to school, our focus must continue as we know many will, for varying reasons, find this a significant challenge.

We cannot deny that we are all living through the most extraordinary of times and will, to some degree, have experienced trauma; the same applies to our children, young people and families. The way in which we respond to this is different for each and every one depending on our protective factors such as positive relationships, family, friends, social connections, housing, employment, etc. and, therefore, our ability to ‘bounce-back’ and cope.

During lockdown many of these naturally occurring protective factors have been stripped away as families have become isolated, thrown into poverty, homes over-crowded and much more. Additionally, for many, these protective factors do not exist and now, due to immeasurable pressures, they will also have tragically suffered abuse and/or neglect during this period. We need, therefore, to assume that our children may not be in a good starting place to face the return to school and will be in need of our help and protection.

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