Covid-19 and Safeguarding Practice Top 10 Tips for MyConcern Users
We recognise that schools continue to have a vital role to play in safeguarding vulnerable children during this period of school closures and that safeguarding leads and their staff are having to adapt quickly to the current crisis. Given that schools have had to adopt remote working practices at very short notice and with limited resources it is increasingly important that users understand how to get the very best out of their online systems.
Our list of ‘Top 10 Tips’ for the use of MyConcern are as follows:
1. Ensure you have more than one person created as an Account Admin User
It is important that you have more than one person in this role, particularly if they fall ill or become unavailable. You need Account Admin rights to create new user accounts on the system and change user roles, especially if you are having to invite other agencies onto the system to share information. You may want to consider giving Account Admin rights to each of your DSL/DSPs/DTs and Deputies so they are in a position to create accounts if necessary.
2. Review your Safeguarding Lead capability and consider additional support
You may find that some key members of staff undertaking the DSL/DSP/DT (and Deputy) role become unavailable through illness and are not able to continue with their role. Consider appointing additional members of staff as DSL/DSP/DTs or at least give them DSL/DSP/DT access if you or members of your team are not available. We will be able to assist with refresher training sessions via webinar and provide support if you require it.
3. Review your system notifications to make sure you stay in touch with updates
If you are working remotely it will be important for you to keep up to speed with all relevant updates on MyConcern. You may want to check that the notifications you are receiving are sufficient and also ensure your staff have the correct notifications switched on. You can access your personal notifications by selecting your username which appears on the top, right-hand-side of the home screen. A drop-down menu appears and if you select ‘My Preferences’ you will be able to review and change your email notifications if necessary.
4. Tracking Covid-19 cases on the system
We have now created 3 Categories of Concern on the system which will allow you to record Covid-19 cases which may be impacting on your pupils and include:-
- Covid-19 cases where there are symptoms only
- Covid-19 cases which have been confirmed
- Covid-19 cases where a welfare check has been carried out
Remember, you can also create your own Information Flag(s) for Covid-19 cases if you want to flag a pupil that might fall into any of these categories and then monitor that group if required. Schools are also using the system to record all of their welfare checks and telephone contact with parents and carers of vulnerable children. One Headteacher explained that she had identified and flagged every vulnerable child in the school and was now recording every contact in the relevant chronologies giving her a complete breakdown of the school’s response.
5. Inviting staff members and other agencies into concerns and profiles
As you and your staff are likely to be working remotely, it may be appropriate for you to invite staff members into Concerns and Profiles as Team Members so that you can work more effectively online. You are also able to invite members from other agencies into the system and add them as Team Members to specific Concerns and/or Profiles to securely share relevant information (in accordance with Data Protection and GDPR guidelines). It is unlikely that you will be able to physically meet with members of other agencies to share information and the use of email may not be secure, so this is likely to be the most appropriate way to work with other agencies.
6. Sharing concerns and profiles with other schools
Some schools may be working together to manage the children of key workers and vulnerable children and in some areas a single school may be taking on this responsibility on behalf of others. Schools working in this way will be able to provide access to relevant Concerns and Profiles for other DSLs/DSPs/DTs to view even if they are not MyConcern users. If children from your school are attending a school that is not using MyConcern, you will still be able to invite the DSL from that school into the profile of the relevant child so they are in a position to properly assess any risks and reports concerns if required.
7. Setting up reports to help identify and monitor safeguarding trends
You are able to set up a wide range of reports in the system that allow you to track your vulnerable children closely but also to identify any new or unusual safeguarding trends that may be emerging during this period of school closures. If the crisis continues for any length of time it may be important for you to produce meaningful reports for senior management and for Governing Bodies , Inspectors, Multi-Academy Trusts and Government.
8. Using Information Flags and Levels of Need to monitor vulnerable children
Remember that you are able to make use of Information Flags and the Levels of Need feature to monitor vulnerable individuals and groups. You can create your own Information Flags on the system to do this and then produce reports on those groups of pupils if you need to. For example, you may want to create the following Flags to help you monitor pupils during this period:
- Vulnerable Child
- Child of Key Worker
- Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- Child Protection Plan
- Child in Need
You can also use the Levels of Need feature within MyConcern to set a RAG (Risk) Rating for vulnerable children in your school. The Level of Need functionality can be turned off or on in the Admin tab on the main Navigation Bar (you will need Admin rights on the system to access this tab). For those that are not already using this feature it is very simple to set up and use. It means that you will be able to easily identify those children with more complex needs and to produce reports on the types of concerns relating to those pupils.
9. Tracking all referrals to other agencies on the system
If you are making any kind of referral to another agency (whether formal or informal) the system allows you to record the details within a Concern and/or Profile of a pupil. This will allow you to accurately track all referrals that you make including the time and date of the referral, details of the relevant agency and the person you are referring the concern to. The system will also enable you to record the status and outcome of the referral, so you are in a position to assess individual cases and longer-term trend data.
10. Managing virtual meetings on vulnerable children
You may find that you are having to hold online meetings with other members of staff or even the statutory agencies about vulnerable children. If you are meeting online with other members of your safeguarding team you can use the various Dashboards within the system to give you an overview of all concerns, profiles, referrals and tasks and you could use a secure online video conferencing service to share your screen if the other people in the conference do not have the same level of access as you.
Please feel free to contact us if you require any further support and advice. Our Customer Support Team and MyConcern Trainers are ready and willing to help you with any queries and if you do need any additional refresher training you just need to ask!