NACCC’s National Standards for Supported Child Contact clearly state that supported child contact centres MUST NOT accept referral with proven domestic abuse/violence.

In support of Women’s Aid Child First campaign Elizabeth Coe said “NACCC published its standards last year for its centres providing supported contact for families. These clearly states that where there has been proved domestic abuse or violence then a supported child contact centre must not accept this referral (unless the centre has suitable qualified staff to carry out a risk assessment and where the perpetrator has demonstrated a willingness to address their anger management issues through the relevant courses). An enhanced accredited supervised centre may accept this type of referral if it part of a package (for example an activity direction for a Domestic Violence Prevention Programme (DVP) and following a positive midway review.”

NACCC has a training programme for its centres as part of their accreditation. Part of the requirements of staff and volunteers at NACCC is that appropriate safeguarding training takes place on a yearly basis.

Elizabeth went on to urge all the staff and volunteers that run its 400 accredited centres to make themselves aware of the contents of the Women’s Aid report ‘Nineteen Child Homicides – What must change so children are put first in child contact arrangements and the family courts’.

Elizabeth Coe is also taking part in an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Domestic Violence Hearing: Domestic abuse, child contact and the family court. This takes place next Wednesday 27th January in Westminster. This APPG meeting will focus on survivors’ of domestic abuse experiences of the family court and child contact proceedings alongside expert input from legal professionals, domestic abuse practitioners and eminent academics. The meeting will be held as a parliamentary hearing, at which invited witnesses will give evidence and APPG Officers will be able to ask questions to the experts present. This information will be collated by Women’s Aid and a short report written with clear recommendations for Government and the family court judiciary.

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