Covid-19 has bought about significant challenges for all NACCC Members. This has been particularly difficult for the smaller organisations, who meet the needs of their families as a result of the generosity of voluntary workers. These centres are generally run on a charitable basis and their resources are precious.
During the first lockdown, in May 2020 most child contact centres closed. Many charities that work with the support of volunteers remain closed. Often this is the case because their limited resources do not allow them to take Covid secure measures, or because their volunteers are vulnerable to the virus.
However, the volunteers at Kingston Child Contact Centre recognised the anguish of local children’s families being kept apart by the closure of services and decided that they needed to do something to help their community.
The centre then worked tirelessly to understand and assess the risks associated with opening, in order to understand how they might be able to do this safely. They produced training for their volunteers and informative resources for family members.
Kingston Child Contact Centre then published the outcomes of this work on their website. Rightly so, parents and children have been anxious about returning to child contact services whilst covid-19 has restricted many other parts of their lives. By openly publishing a range of information, including risk assessments, this centre has demonstrated a clear commitment to transparency and supporting families to feel safe at the centre.
But they didn’t stop here.
In order to make this information accessible to all who might use it, the centre has also put together a video, explaining the process of risk assessment and how they will keep families safe.
All who work at NACCC would like to say a special thanks and well done, to all at Kingston Child Contact Centre on behalf of the children and families you support.
NACCC is working on an event to recognise excellence in child contact. If you know of an example like this, tell us about it here so that we can make sure these centres get fitting recognition.