Children and young people may be left without adequate adult care and support when their parents or carers are hospitalised due to COVID-19.
Districts and Networks are encouraged to develop local processes to manage children of sick parents. These children may have care requirements that are very different to managing unwell children. This factsheet was developed by the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, in consultation with Districts, Networks and the Paediatrics and Youth COVID-19 Community of Practice.
If you require support please contact
SCHN-EOC@health.nsw.gov.au. For urgent matters, please call 9845 0000 and request to speak with the COVID executive on call.
Care for children and young people whose parents are hospitalised with COVID-19 should ideally:
Caring for well children while parents receive care may present unique challenges. Planning should include consideration of social or medical admissions, where and how many can be admitted, whether admissions occur as individuals or in family groups, accommodation options for positive and negative kids.
Consider management of different age groups, along with other factors such as disability status and any behavioural issues. Culturally appropriate support should be available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse children/adolescents.
Develop a system for obtaining consent and communicating with parents/ nominated next of kin (e.g. a case manager).
Identify and engage surge workforce who can care for admitted children/adolescents.
Consider staffing requirements, particularly for infants and toddlers where 1 to 1 care may be required.
Issues that require a systems or state-wide response can be raised through the Paediatric and Youth COVID-19 Community of Practice (CoP):
Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
Dr Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning, NSW Ministry of Health.