OPFS services during the Coronavirus period
Information for you and your family
Following the announcement on Monday 16 March regarding Covid-19, we will be suspending our face-to-face work in Glasgow, Dundee, Falkirk, Lanarkshire and Edinburgh. This includes groups, courses and one-to-one support. There are details on the local service pages of how they can be contacted and the support available from OPFS in each area during this crisis.
Our priority as an organisation is continue to be available for single parents and their children. For the families we already work with, staff will continue to provide support in local areas through phone calls, texts and local Facebook groups. For single parents outwith those areas or who have not yet been supported by our local teams, we can provide support through our Helpline, webchat and ‘ask a question’ function on this website.
We appreciate this is a worrying time, with many uncertainties for families and we will continue to work to provide the most up to date and relevant information, advice and support for you and your children.
If you have any concerns, questions, or are finding it hard at the moment, please do get on touch. We are here to support you.
Chief Executive, OPFS
We will continue to monitor the situation and update this message when the situation changes. In addition announcements will also be made on the OPFS Facebook pages for Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow and Lanarkshire if there are any updates.
Government clarifies guidance on exercise
UK Government has now published new guidance making clear that, if you’re autistic or have a learning disability, you can leave your home more than once a day and travel beyond your local area if this is important to your health. The National Autistic Society has published a helpful update on the move.
National helpline established for those who do not have family or community support
The service offers help to those who do not have family or existing community support and cannot get online and who are over 70, disabled, require the support of mental health services, are pregnant or receive a flu jab for health reasons. Anyone not in these categories but still looking for support should visit www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus/.
Callers will be automatically connected to their local authority who will support them to access the service they need, such as:
- essential food and medication
- links to local social work services for vulnerable children or adults
- emotional support
- contact with local volunteer groups.
People with caring responsibilities now eligible for furlough
People unable to work because of caring responsibilities arising from the Coronavirus pandemic are now eligible for furlough, the UK Government has announced.
Those who cannot work – including from home – because they need to look after children or a vulnerable individual in their household have been advised to speak with their employer about being placed on temporary leave.
Resources for families with disabled children
Looking for information about the Coronavirus aimed at families with disabled children?
Have a look at this excellent resource by Disabled Children’s Partnership , for links to information, resources and activities.
Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
Get official advice and information about Coronavirus directly from the government. WhatsApp message ‘hi’ to 07860 064422. Alternatively, use this link.
Coronavirus pandemic knowledge centre
Advice Direct Scotland have launched a dedicated Coronavirus website with advice & information about consumer rights, employment, housing, benefits and more.
School meals phishing scam
Sadly, there are some people looking to exploit the current situation and some parents have received an email stating: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’. This is a scam email, do not reply to this. To report emails like these see the Action Fraud website.
Coronavirus – information for parents and carers
Parenting Across Scotland have together new information about dealing with the Coronavirus for parents and carers.
The pages cover:
- official health guidance;
- work and benefits;
- staying at home;
- what’s happening in your area;
- looking after yourself and your family; and
- how to help others.
Update on parents who live separately
The UK Government has confirmed that parents who live separately will also be allowed to move children under 18 between their houses.
Whilst this has established an exception to ‘stay at home’ requirements; it does not mean that children have to be moved between homes. This needs to be sensibly assessed on an individual basis with safety of all being considered to any decision taken.
No evictions from private / social rented sectors for six months
Emergency legislation from Scottish Government will ensure there can be no evictions from the private rented sector or social rented sector for six months.
Social distancing is key to protecting yourself and others
However, it doesn’t mean that you’re alone. See additional support from organisations who may be able to offer help and advice.
Covid-19 Parent and Daycare provider factsheets from the Scottish Government
Your Coronavirus questions
You will find information about how Coronavirus impacts you with your benefits, employment and more.
For the latest advice and information about Coronavirus in Scotland