Protocol for working with clients face to face during the Covid-19 pandemic at the Charter.       June 11th 2020


Updated Sept 26th

The Need

There are some young people who do not feel safe discussing their issues on the phone or online whilst they are at home.

There are some young people who do not want to have counselling online.

Ensure you follow the BACP guidelines when thinking about offering face to face work with a client

“If for any reason online (or phone) work is not possible, we recommend that you still consider the factors below:

  • the client's need and safety

  • your needs and safety

  • the context of the service

  • whether other options are possible and the ethical and practical risks of any decision

  • the known risk factors of age and any pre-existing health conditions for both yourself and your client

  • clients with particular needs who may not be able to engage using online platforms

  • if your clients could be putting themselves at risk during the journey to and from your premises”


The Purpose

To better help those young people who are struggling/at risk with their mental health who are unable or unwilling to engage online or on the phone.


The Procedure to follow

Record on each client’s Views record the reason for offering face to face sessions.

Write out a list of issues to talk through on the phone with the client before meeting face to face. This must include

  1. Prior to their first meeting explain about the coronavirus and the reason for special precautions. Answer any questions and reassure as appropriate. Check their understanding.

  2. Ask about their health status. Do they or anyone in the house have Covid-19 or Covid-19 symptoms. Have they been asked to self-isolate? Is anyone in the house shielding? Is anyone in their household self-isolating due to contact with Covid-19? If the answer is yes to any of these questions then the client should not come to the Charter

  3. Explain about social distancing and why it is needed. Seek their agreement to maintain the 2-metre social distancing.

  4. Explain that it is necessary to wear a face covering inside the Charter and no 19.

  5. Explain that if you test positive for Covid-19 after your meeting the client is likely to be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

  6. Verbal consent to the meeting must be recorded on Views demonstrating that you have gone through all the above issues with the client

  7. Suggest that the client informs their parent/guardian/partner about the option of meeting face to face.

  8. Explain that there are measures in place at the Charter to keep risk to a minimum, namely


  • They will be buzzed into the Charter. Please use the stairs, only 1 person allowed in the lift.

  • Arrive on time and no more than 5 minutes early.

  • Follow the instructions which are displayed outside the TAB office on the 3rd floor

  • Use hand sanitiser provided before and after the session

  • To minimise risk come by yourself if possible.

  • Discuss wearing a face mask. This is optional but might become compulsory.

  • The wearing of a face covering is mandatory unless the client is exempt or exceptional circumstances

  1. Emphasise the importance of coming to the appointment. If unable to attend they should text the counsellor to give as much notice as possible.

  2. If the client changes his/her mind about a face to face session they can request the session be changed to online or the phone.

  3. Bring your own food and drink for your working session. Water can be obtained from the water dispenser. Bring your own cup as the toilets should not be used for washing up.

  4. No lone working


At the session-Counsellor

  1. Avoid hand shaking or any physical contact

  2. Always keep at least 2-metres from your client

  3. Tissues used should be put in the waste bin and emptied at the end of your work session.

  4. Use hand sanitiser as appropriate

  5. Use the antiseptic spray to wipe any surfaces used


Protocol drawn up on June 6th and approved by the Governance Committee

It is agreed that, as from June 15th, Gary, Justin and Holly start doing face to face sessions with those clients who fit the criteria outlined above but a review of this protocol will be conducted by the Governance Group before any further deployment across TAB.

An Oxfordshire charity which supports young people in challenging circumstances.

Registered Charity Number 1160080

Registered at 19 Bridge Street Abingdon OX14 3HN