I have completed two face-to-face assessments since the easing of lockdown, and have several more booked. Experience thus far suggests that it is difficult to negotiate the challenges of social distancing on home visits, as there is only limited control of the environment. Measures such as portable Perspex screens only work if the household has a table to sit at. Masks are uncomfortable over longer periods and impede the engagement with clients.
For this reason I will only be able to offer face-to-face appointments at schools, local authority venues and solicitors' offices until there has been a further significant shift in social distancing guidance. I will honour any home visits that have already been booked, but will be asking legal representatives and social workers to organise an appropriate venue for any new appointments. Video interviews are still my preferred option for adults if possible, and this is likely to be the case until the end of 2020.