We are delighted to announce that our ‘National Standards for Supported Child Contact Centres’ has been fully updated following the scrutiny of the Independent Standards Panel and in consultation with member centres.
The national standards are the backbone to NACCC’s accreditation and membership for services providing child contact in England, Wales, Northern Ireland (and all other locations where NACCC members operate) and exists to ensure that child contact services provide safe and sustainable service for children and their families.
This is a live document which has been growing and developing (alongside its sister documents for supervised child contact centres and services) in line with best practice over many years. We would like to thank the Rt. Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane (our Patron and President of the Family Division) for writing the Foreword to this new edition. He writes:
When parents separate, the level of trust between them may be at a low ebb and the parent with care of a child may be unwilling, at least at first, to allow the other parent to spend time with their child in a wholly unsupervised setting. In such situations, the availability of suitable child focussed facilities in a neutral environment, supported or supervised by child care professionals, at a child contact centre may well make the difference between the bond between parent and child being maintained or being broken.
Since its inception 30 years ago, the NACCC has striven to provide support and advice for children, parents and those who operate contact centres. A core concept around the whole question of child contact is that of trust and confidence. For a parent to be able to trust that all will be well during contact at a centre, they not only have to trust the other parent but also the centre itself. In this regard the accreditation scheme operated by NACCC provides a tangible basis upon which such trust can be well founded. A key part of the NACCC scheme is adherence to a set of National Standards. Such standards have been in existence for 21 years, but the standards are a living instrument that has been continuously kept under review and developed.
This new edition of the National Standards is therefore a welcome and positive sign of the commitment of the NACCC and its accredited members to provide the safe, appropriate, and highly valued contact facilities. I and (I am confident in saying) all Family judges and magistrates are extremely supportive of, and appreciative of, the work the NACCC and each accredited contact centre. We see the cases and we therefore know just what a game-changer the provision of supervised or supported contact can be in a case that might otherwise be intractable.The Rt. Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of The Family Division
We would also like to thank the Independent Standards Panel for their scrutiny of the new edition and the co-ordinators at Bath Child Contact Centre, Littlehampton Child Contact Centre, The Vine Child Contact Centre and Westwood House Child Contact Centre for volunteering their time to assist in an advisory role. This all means that the standards are as high a quality as possible ensuring that children and families get the best possible experience when attending a supported child contact centre.
Various standards relating to centre management, staffing, training, HR and recruitment, operating procedures and issues relating to the various policies in safeguarding, confidentiality, complaints, health and safety, equal opportunities, domestic violence and abuse, virtual contact and sustainability have been updated or introduced.
A summary of the standards can be found on the link below: