Children’s social care providers

Information and support for providers of children’s social care during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Helping children and young people understand COVID-19

There are a lot of online resources to help you explain the pandemic to children and young people. 

PPE information

Oxfordshire County Council is a ‘representative organisation’ within the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum and has discharged its role as an emergency supplier of PPE since April/May 2020.

In September 2020, with improvements in the supply of PPE the council stood down from its emergency role, and at the end of that month Government published its PPE Strategy Document covering the supply and logistics for distribution of PPE through to March 2022. This strategy indicated that

  • It would provide COVID-19 related PPE in full until March 2022 at the earliest
  • It has secured sufficient PPE to cover the winter period and was building a four-month stock of supply
  • It was increasing its product range which would be made available to eligible service providers via its own PPE Portal

It is important to recognise that providers are expected to maintain their efforts and continue to source their own non-COVID related PPE supplies as normal.

A link to the Government’s PPE Strategy document

What should a provider do if it needs an emergency supply of PPE?

Government has identified two routes for accessing COVID-related PPE supplies and these are described below

1. The Government’s PPE Portal

The Government has created a PPE portal for essential health and social care services and has continued to increase the frequency and volume of equipment that eligible services can order. 

The Government’s PPE portal can be used by:

  • GPs
  • residential social care providers
  • domiciliary social care providers
  • pharmacies
  • dentists
  • orthodontists
  • optometrists
  • children’s care homes and secure homes
  • children’s residential special schools
  • community drug and alcohol services
  • residential drug and alcohol services

Government guidance and a link to the PPE portal including how to order, and ordering limits can be found here: PPE portal

If you need to email the government PPE portal, use

And there’s a helpline 0800 876 6802 if you are having trouble registering.

2. Providers not eligible to use the Government Portal

For other care providers the council can assist in providing PPE for COVID-related activities.

These groups include:

  • Local authorities (including children and adult social care workers)
  • Mental health community care
  • Personal Assistants, (Local Authority, CCG commissioned, Personal Health Budgets)
  • Domestic violence refuges
  • Rough sleeping services
  • Education (and childcare) services  

To obtain a supply of PPE from the council please complete a PPE order form and return it to on Monday or Tuesday of each week.

Your PPE order will be made up and delivered to your chosen CSS Centre, from where it can be collected on the following Friday between the hours of 9.30am and 3.30pm.

Our distribution sites are located in Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Oxford City, Wallingford, Wantage and Witney.

Home visits conducted by carers, personal assistants, and volunteers

Guidance (pdf format, 400Kb) has been written for carers, personal assistants, and volunteers on safe home visits and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Will we charge you for PPE?

We will not charge you for PPE if you are one of the organisations listed above and the reason for supplying you with PPE is to respond to a COVID19-related service.

Other relevant PPE information

For information about PPE please refer to government’s coronavirus (COVID-19): personal protective equipment (PPE) hub

Further resources

Other training information

Did you know as a provider of children’s social care you can access Grey Matter Learning (GML) a skills for Care Centre of Excellence?

If you are a commissioned social care provider you can submit a request to Grey Matter to create an account via the Oxfordshire landing page.

Workforce support

Webinar: ‘Looking after yourself’ – For Care Staff during Covid-19

Coping with the Covid Rollercoaster – a webinar specifically for all Oxfordshire social care providers. Delivered by Clinical Psychologists Dr Carla Runchman and Dr Candy Stone, part of the Oxfordshire Care Home Support Service, this half hour webinar provides information and useful tools to support you to address and support the emotional and mental wellbeing of staff working in a frontline role.

Frontline workers and mental health support

For many social care professionals, this may be a time of increased pressure and stress. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, you are continuing to show dedication and commitment to keep the people you are caring for and supporting safe. At the same time, you may be balancing your own caring responsibilities, protecting your own health and potentially entering self-isolation. This could be having a significant impact on your mental wellbeing.  

It is crucial that all those providing care and support; both employers and employees, take some time to think about their own health, safety and wellbeing now more than ever before. This is a list of resources and organisations that might be helpful.


  • Our Frontline offers round-the-clock one-to-one support for frontline workers in social care, along with a collection of resources, tips and ideas chosen to support your mental health as you do your work to protect us all and keep the country going.
  • MindEd resources to help front-line staff in care services manage mental health and wellbeing, whilst looking after others during the crisis. The main focus on staff’s own wellbeing but relevant to supporting others.
  • TalkingSpace Plus is a free, confidential NHS service that is easy to access for anyone aged 18 and above, across Oxfordshire. Recurring themes reported when people request support include:
    • Worry and over-thinking about the situation and its consequences
    • Poor concentration on other things and easily distracted
    • Feelings of anxiety
    • Restlessness and fidgeting
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Poor daily functioning and difficulty carrying out routine tasks
    • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control or incompetence
  • The new CARE Workforce app. This includes information about mental health, wellbeing and development, bringing together lots of self-help guidance and support including the text service Shout. For immediate support from SHOUT, text FRONTLINE to 85258 to start a text conversation.
  • A wellbeing for staff programme has been created for the health and care workforce by HEE’s e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) in response to COVID-19. The wellbeing programme includes key topics such as mindfulness, mental health and wellbeing, the worried child, loss and grief and many more. Access the wellbeing programme.
  • Skills for Care resilience and wellbeing resources
  • There is a new 24/7 Mental Health helpline in Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It offers mental health advice for people of all ages including children and older adults.
    • Adults: 01865 904997
    • Children and young people: 01865 904 998


Other resources

Coronavirus Carer ID

Oxfordshire County Council is continuing to support carers during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by offering a Carers ID. The Carer ID scheme is for paid and independent carers who are providing care and support to youngsters and adults known to OCC Social Care.

The Carer ID is a simple letter of authority that can be presented whilst out and about, should the carer be challenged. Email for further information.

Financial support for providers

Supplier relief

In response to the current situation we have made a corporate statement about its commitment to supplier relief. 

For example, as of 25 March 2020 we changed our supplier payment processes to enable immediate payment of approved supplier payment plans and invoices - this means once they have cleared our system providers will normally receive payment in three working days via the BACS payment system.

We have also encouraged suppliers to register for our self-service portal so that invoices can be submitted directly to us and we can expedite payment.

You can manage your account at a time.

In addition, we have made a commitment to work with suppliers who consider themselves at-risk so that we can provide additional support if necessary.

Vaccination of frontline health and social care workers

You can find information about vaccination of social workers on our providers vaccination page.