Then, like it did for so many of us, everything changed with the implementation of the UK government’s COVID-19 movement restrictions.
On Friday, 20th March Nik Harwood, the charity’s CEO suspended all face-to-face services.
Suddenly 72 of the most vulnerable young people, those receiving weekly therapeutic CBT sessions from the charity’s Wellbeing Service were isolated at home. Already part of the loneliest segment of society home wouldn’t be a pleasant or safe place for some of them.
Nik and his team faced two challenges:
1. How to keep young people engaged and supported in the immediate short-term – so they know support is still there, that the tap won’t be turned off, while…
2. Finding a method of online delivery that was safe for staff, safe and accessible for young people, and met their NHS commssioner’s information governance and security requirements
By Sunday, 29th March they had agreed and signed off a new service delivery protocol with commissioners.
Young Somerset began delivering therapeutic services online on March 30th. They now have a working protocol that covers:
They’ve also taken their consent forms online, developed a protocol for phone support and are developing a protocol for digital open access youth work.
“I don’t think we will go back to the world we were in. I expect online delivery to be part of how we deliver therapeutic work in the long-term future”
Read the full article to find out how they dealt with issues from governance and security to their new protocol:
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