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