Advice for young people on Covid-19
On this page you will find guidance and resources, including the latest advice from government and Public Health England, on Covid-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation and update the page regularly to ensure the information is helpful.
What to do if you don’t feel safe
If you feel unsafe then there are people and services who can help you.
- Speak to an adult you trust and tell them why you don’t feel safe.
- You can contact Childline on 0800 1111.
- Speak to your Family Court Adviser or Guardian. If you are unsure of their details, call 0300 456 4000.
- You can contact your social worker or independent reviewing officer (if you have one). If you don’t have a social worker and you feel unsafe, you can call your local authority and to speak to someone.
- If you feel at risk due to domestic abuse advice is available at the Children’s Society.
- In an emergency, call 999.
Covid-19 and your case
The questions you have may be different depending on the type of court case. The family courts know that court proceedings are important to you and your family. The Covid-19 outbreak does mean the courts have to change how they work and there will be delays in some cases.
Everyone is working hard to look at how hearings (where decisions about your life are made) can go ahead safely.
We have tried to answer any questions you may have about your case below.
Currently, all family court hearings are taking place both remotely and in person. Remotely means via Skype, telephone or video link. Where an in-person hearing takes place, guidance will be available on make sure your health and safety is protected. Your Family Court Adviser (FCA) or Guardian will explain to you whether the hearing will be remote or in-person and explain the process when they know.
Meeting with my Family Court Adviser or Guardian
We are currently using both remote video technology and in-person visits to speak with you and your family. Sometimes, your Family Court Adviser or guardian will want to meet you in person. They will be in touch to explain how this will work and make sure that you and everyone involved in the meeting takes care to stay safe.
Please try not to worry. If you want to talk to someone at Cafcass about your court hearing or if you are worried about things that are happening at home or where you are living, then please do contact your Family Court Adviser or your social worker who can help you. Or you can call us on 0300 456 4000.
Frequent asked questions
Questions about my private law case
These cases are brought to the family court by family members, generally parents, to help sort out arrangements about who a child should live with or spend time with.
What is happening to private law applications currently?
Some applications, where a child is safe, may be delayed. If there are concerns about a child these cases will still be heard by the court as soon as they can.
Will I see my Family Court Adviser (FCA)?
Your views are very important and your FCA will be in contact with you to talk to you about your wishes and feelings. We are now using both remote video technology and in-person visits to speak with you. You FCA will let you know whether you will meet in-person or via Skype or telephone and take your wishes into account. When you see an FCA in person, they will make sure that your health and safety are protected during the visit.
Questions about my public law case
These cases are brought to the family court by local authorities when there are worries that a child or young person is not being looked after safely. The family court may make a Care Order, a Supervision Order or no order at all.
What is happening to court applications currently?
If there is a worry that a child or young person is not safe the court will still work to protect that child and an order will be made.
How can I contact my guardian or social worker?
You should have details so you can contact your guardian or social worker by Skype, telephone, email or text. You should always be able to contact someone in your guardian or social worker’s team if they themselves are not available, or your independent reviewing officer or their manager. If you don’t have any contact details, please contact your local council.
What do I do if I feel unwell, unsafe or I am worried about someone I know?
- Talk to someone you trust about your worries or if you feel unsafe or unwell. If you think someone is going to hurt you, you need to call the police, a social worker or an adult you trust.
- If you are worried about the safety of a parent, brother or sister, carer or friend, you should talk to a trusted adult.
- You could ask a social worker, if you have one, a teacher, a foster carer or a professional, as well as family members.
- If you are a looked after child and can’t reach your social worker, remember you can contact your independent reviewing officer too or ask for their manager.
- Don’t keep your worry to yourself.
Useful links about Covid-19
If you think that you would like some extra support during this time, check out these websites for some great advice and ideas.