Coronavirus update

NACCC – Updated Guidance

Monday 22nd June 2020

As of 22.06.2020 NACCC are recommending that centres make independent decisions about whether they feel able to re-open their services. We have a range of peer support opportunities planned that we hope will assist supported centres in some of the logistics around decision making.

The readiness of centres to be able to offer services will vary significantly and no centre should consider opening their services if they do not feel fully prepared or if doing so contravenes any local advice.

The nature of local advice will vary, special attention is also recommended in terms of Social Distancing and ensuring that this can be implemented within relevant guidelines. Centres will make decisions based upon the guidance offered by government, public health bodies, local authorities and referring or funding bodies like Cafcass (Cymru).

NACCC will continue to promote the independence of centres whilst offering guidance that is designed to help them make safe and appropriate decisions. Some centres will open quickly, others will offer restricted services that look and feel different, some might have a virtual offer, whilst others remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, to support Child Contact Centres we have prepared a checklist that we recommend centres work through, prior to making any decision to open. This is a working document that is open to review at any time. This is intended to act as a guide that each centre will build upon and add to, based upon the individual requirements of their centre. This document could then be available to anyone wishing to see it and act as reassurance that the centre has followed a diligent process in their decision making.

Prior to opening a centre, we would strongly encourage centres to update their knowledge around Covid-19. Read the Government guidelines for the part of the UK your centres functions in as the guidance is different in each. In addition, there is advice on keeping environments and staff safe centres can be confident that they are well informed and prepared to offer as safe a service as possible. Online learning is one example, there are several providers offering options. The following link is not particularly endorsed by NACCC but presents as a good introduction to the topic. https://www.virtual-college.co.uk/courses/prevent-covid-19-free-training?fbclid=IwAR3V9s-v23BfsbZbAWFkx-vExrne70mCh-gKg_kWVxxhyrv12w2d42bXNCM

Centres should also liaise with insurance providers relating to the level of cover that they have and whether this is satisfactory in terms of perceived liabilities because of Covid-19 or anything else.

We hope this is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help. Stay in touch and stay safe.

Elizabeth Coe: CEO

Phil Coleman: Service Development Manager

22nd June 2020


NACCC – Updated Guidance

Monday 15th June 2020

Up until this point the guidance from NACCC has remained for child contact centres not to offer any face to face services. NACCC Trustees have now made the decision that this will remain our guidance for one week further.

At the end of this week, assuming that there is no escalation to the current risk level NACCC guidance will change and we will no longer be recommending that centres remain closed. Therefore, as of Monday 22nd June, we will be recommending that centres make independent decisions about whether they feel able to re-open their services.

The readiness of centres to be able to offer services will vary significantly and no centre should consider opening their services if they do not feel fully prepared or if doing so contravenes any local advice.

The nature of local advice will vary. Centres will make decisions based upon the guidance offered by government, public health bodies, local authorities and referring or funding bodies like Cafcass (Cymru).

NACCC will continue to promote the independence of centres whilst offering guidance that is designed to help them make safe and appropriate decisions. Some centres will open quickly, others will offer restricted services that look and feel different, some might have a virtual offer, whilst others remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, to support Child Contact Centres we have prepared a checklist that we recommend centres work through, prior to making any decision to open. This is a working document that is open to review at any time. This is intended to act as a guide that each centre will build upon and add to, based upon the individual requirements of their centre. This document could then be available to anyone wishing to see it and act as reassurance that the centre has followed a diligent process in their decision making.

Prior to opening a centre, we would strongly encourage centres to update their knowledge around Covid-19. Read the Government guidelines for the part of the UK your centres functions in as the guidance is different in each. In addition, there is advice on keeping environments and staff safe centres can be confident that they are well informed and prepared to offer as safe as service a possible. Online learning is one example, there are several providers offering a number of options. The following link is not particularly endorsed by NACCC but presents as a good introduction to the topic. https://www.virtual-college.co.uk/courses/prevent-covid-19-free-training?fbclid=IwAR3V9s-v23BfsbZbAWFkx-vExrne70mCh-gKg_kWVxxhyrv12w2d42bXNCM

We will continue to monitor the situation and advice running alongside this with a view to getting updated guidance out when the Government issues ‘new rules’. It is planned that this will next be reviewed on the 22nd June and then fortnightly, for the time being.

The review of this information may come sooner or later depending on the information available to us.

Taking this approach will ensure the safety of children and families whilst also seeking to avoid further disruptions, should there be a ‘second spike, or other reason to limit services.

We hope this is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help. Stay in touch and stay safe.

Elizabeth Coe: CEO

Phil Coleman: Service Development Manager

15th June 2020

Update as at Monday 1st June 2020

Up until this point the guidance from NACCC has remained for child contact centres not to offer any face to face services. Today we have reviewed the public health advice of the main nations making up the NACCC membership. A document has been provided below with a summary of the information that is publicly available as of today.

Our interpretation of the guidance across all the areas is that this is still not the right time to be opening services. We recognise that other people will have different interpretations of this advice. Our understanding is that: where meetings of people are permitted outside of the home this is to be in an outside public space with 2 metres social distancing. It is also a common theme that you should only meet people from a limited number of other households.

To attend a child contact centre would require families and staff to meet people from at least 3 different households (the child’s, the non-resident parent and that of the person supervising or supporting the session). Even where social distancing can be put in place, contact often takes place indoors which is not in line with current guidance. It is the case that a child can travel between homes for the purposes of contact, however a contact centre is not defined as a home environment.

NACCC will continue to promote the independence of centres whilst offering guidance that is designed to help them make safe and appropriate decisions. Therefore, we have prepared a checklist that we recommend centres work through, prior to making any decision to open. This is intended to act as a guide that each centre will build upon and add to based upon the individual requirements of their centre. This document could then be available to anyone wishing to see it and act as reassurance that the centre has followed a diligent process in their decision making.

Prior to opening a centre, we would strongly encourage centres to update their knowledge around Covid-19.  Read the Government guidelines for the part of the UK your centres functions in as the guidance is different in each. In addition, there is advice on keeping environments and staff safe centres can be confident that they are well informed and prepared to offer as safe as service as possible. so that this can enable. Online learning is one example, there are a number of providers offering a number of options. The following link is not particularly endorsed by NACCC but presents as a good introduction to the topic. https://www.virtual-college.co.uk/courses/prevent-covid-19-free-training?fbclid=IwAR3V9s-v23BfsbZbAWFkx-vExrne70mCh-gKg_kWVxxhyrv12w2d42bXNCM

We will continue to monitor the situation and advice running alongside this with a view to getting updated guidance out when the Government issued ‘new rules’. It is planned that this will next be reviewed around 15th June. The review in this information may come sooner or later depending on the information available to us. By 15th June more public services will be open and we will have a clear understanding how schools have managed. Taking this approach will ensure the safety of children and families whilst also seeking to avoid further disruptions, should there be a ‘second spike, or other reason to limit services.

We hope this is helpful.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help.  Stay in touch and stay safe.

Elizabeth Coe: CEO

Phil Coleman: Service Development Manager

1st June 2020

Information for the public regarding the coronavirus outbreak

Update as at 25 March 2020

NACCC and our members have been through some really challenging times over the last couple of weeks, but we have seen our child contact centres rise to this challenge time and time again. NACCC are very proud to support such a dedicated group of people who have shown that they will go far beyond what could reasonably be expected of them to ensure that children can carry on enjoying contact with the people they care about. NACCC are firm in the belief that Parenting shouldn’t end when relationships do and we want to say a heartfelt Thank You to all of our colleagues working hard to make this a reality in these extraordinary times.

Child Contact Centres are and will remain safe places for children to see people that they no longer live with. In order for them to maintain the highest levels of safety it is particularly important that we stay on top of current events relating to the Coronavirus. In order to do this NACCC have been working with public bodies across the United Kingdom to ensure that we have the most up to date information for our members and the general public. It is for this reason that NACCC are now recommending that Child contact centres suspend offering face to face contact but continue offering their invaluable services using technology where this is possible.

The Coronavirus is likely to be really frightening for children depending upon their levels of understanding. Bearing in mind the messages they will be hearing on the television, online and from their friends it is important that we feel confident to talk openly with them, but also in a way that is reassuring and developmentally appropriate. Childline has a range of information to support children and young people. https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/worries-about-the-world/coronavirus/. There are more resources that you might find helpful when talking to children and some that they can safely access alone at the end of this information.

Child Contact Centres have been in the very difficult situation of having to make judgements about whether they are able to offer services that are safe and effective whilst also being equally concerned about not taking steps to cause unnecessary disruption to the attachments that children have and seek to maintain with people they care about but no longer live with.

Up to this point, many centres have been able to take steps to stay open and to continue offering their services. NACCC, Cafcass, Cafcass Cymru and other bodies as appropriate will continue to work pro-actively with these centres to ensure that there is a diverse range of services where this is safe and appropriate.

A number of accredited Child Contact Centres are looking at alternative ways to ensure that child contact can continue to take place, some of the methods being explored and delivered include:

1.    Centres are working creatively with families to see if there are other people that might be able to take up the role of the contact centre. This works well where there are family members or other trusted people that can step in, to support. The government has detailed that children can travel to see parents and the judiciary are urging parents to work together in making decisions for children where this is safe and appropriate.

2.    Indirect Contact is being achieved using technology like skype, WhatsApp video calling, facetime and so on. Some centres are finding ways to support this so that similar arrangements can be implemented in line with the services usually being offered.

3.    Other centres are reducing service sizes and availability. This means that whilst the centre may have suspended contact, it might be possible for them to offer handovers for those parents who just cannot organise this without the centre.

At this point we would strongly urge members of the public to contact NACCC or your local contact centre to find out what services are available locally and when this might change. Information about how to find and contact your local centre can be found here: https://naccc.org.uk/find-a-centre.

Keeping everyone safe is our first priority. Therefore, we would ask you to continue to make yourself aware of any national and local information that is being offered about services and restrictions that might be applicable. The NHS website also has good quality information that is easy to understand in relation to keeping safe.

Should I attend a child contact centre?

At the moment the advice is that children and parents should not attend child contact centres, on the whole.

The government are recommending that everyone (with limited exceptions) should remain at home.

What might symptoms include?

The best advice is to check the NHS website for updated information, however common symptoms could include:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

If you are unsure you should always check by accessing this helpful tool created by the NHS - https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

To avoid catching the Coronavirus the NHS is currently recommending the following:

  •  Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus

  • Only travel on public transport if you need to

  • Work from home, if you can

  • Avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas

  • Avoid events with large groups of people

  • Use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

  • Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family

Cafcass - COVID-19 guidance for children and families

Cafcass has put together guidance to support children and families as the situation surrounding COVID-19 develops.

Further reading and other helpful information

Information for children and young people

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/worries-about-the-world/coronavirus/ - Childline.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround#more-stories-2 – Newsround – Safe and reliable information for children about Coronavirus.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html - Centre for Disease Control and Prevention - Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children.

https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/NASN/3870c72d-fff9-4ed7-833f-215de278d256/UploadedImages/PDFs/02292020_NASP_NASN_COVID-19_parent_handout.pdf - National Association of School Psychologists & National Association of School Nurses - Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus) A Parent Resource

https://youtu.be/WhVad8ToCiU - Child Mind Institute – How to talk to kids about Coronavirus, YouTube guidance.

https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/ - Child Mind Institute - Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus, Webpage.

NHS

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ - Coronavirus Overview.

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ - Symptoms Checker.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/ - Stay at home Advice.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/ - Hand Washing Guidance.

World Health Information

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Government

 https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response - Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision - Coronavirus (COVID-19): maintaining educational provision

https://gov.wales/coronavirus - Welsh Government – Coronavirus Information.

https://www.northernireland.gov.uk/ - The Northern Ireland Executive.

https://www.gov.gg/publichealthservices - Guernsey Government - Coronavirus Information.

https://www.gov.im/coronavirus - Isle of Man Government – Coronavirus Information.

Public Health Bodies

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england - Public Health England

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/ - Public Health Wales.

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/ - Public Health Northern Ireland.


ARCHIVE Information from NACCC for the public regarding the coronavirus outbreak

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Information for the public as at 23 March 2020


Information for the public as at 17 March 2020