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Describe and explain the impact of the proposal on children and young people

The risk assessment tool has been created for use by those who are working within the Health and Social Care sector in Wales. The risk assessment tool is not intended for use by children and young people who are the recipients of health or social care services. The approach of the risk assessment tool is a self-assessment in the first instance. This supports and empowers individuals to consider their own health and wellbeing status – this personal score gives an indication of their likely level of risk of severe COVID infection or death.

The tool aims to work in the best interests of the child by protecting those that work them from harm by understanding the risk to adults who give health or social care interventions to children and young people. However, the tool could potentially have a tangential impact on children should an individual working with them be identified as high or very high risk they may have modifications or adjustments to their role. This could include that they work in an alternative location, from home or no longer work during the pandemic. Implications for children and young people in these circumstances may involve no longer being able to work with a provider for whom they have built up a relationship of trust, or the provider having to vary the way their provide health and social care services to the children and young people in their charge, which may impact on disruption or loss of predictable routine for these children and young people.
Modifications or adjustments to their role or how it is undertaken could potentially impact the child of the employee.  If no adjustments can be made to mitigate the risk and the individual has been identified as Very High-Risk, then temporary Medical Exclusion may be considered. This may have financial implications for individuals and families. Social care staff that are medically excluded may need to access the furlough scheme if they can’t be otherwise accommodated.

Explain how the proposal is likely to impact on children’s rights

This risk assessment tool has been developed and made available at significant pace to protect lives, though the risk assessment tool is aimed at those who work in health and social care settings and not children and young people receiving this care. In some cases there may be older children, 16 and over, who may be working and the risk assessment tool would still apply to them. However, we deem this number to be extremely low. The tangential impacts include positively impacting on Children’s UNCRC Article 3 (best interests of the child), supporting Article 6 and 24 of the Rights of the Child, by ensuring those who work with children in health and social care who may also be parents or guardians who may have been in harm’s way will have been protected from severe COVID-19 infection or possibility of death. In addition to the immediate action taken, in the longer term individuals will be able to identify and understand lifestyle improvements that if actioned may have longer term effects on their health and wellbeing.

Modifications or adjustments that are necessary to keep an individual employee safe may require they move to an alternative working location or are asked to work alternative hours which could potentially impact the child of the employee.  It is imperative that any action is with consent and following discussions between the employee and their line manager, considering their personal circumstances, this should include support from Occupational Health when appropriate. Our continued and overriding priorities are to reduce both the direct and indirect harm from COVID-19.

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