The process to become an accredited member of NACCC is one that evidences expertise and experience.
NACCC Membership is only offered to contact services that have achieved accreditation. The accreditation process involves a number of checks completed via application forms, portfolios and inspection by a trained assessor.
NACCC only offers accreditation to organisations with an evidenced organisational structure. This enables services to be able to have appropriate oversight of their practice and to be able to function in a competent and safe way. This practice will always be in the best interests of children, lawful and in accordance with NACCC requirements.
NACCC requires supervised contact services to be run by experts, these people will have Social Work (or equivalent) qualifications or experience, and those supervising contact will be qualified to Level 3.
Those running services are required to have attended a NACCC training course and to ensure that all staff undertake ongoing training.
Services will have a range of robust policies and procedures outlining the way that they practice. These policies and procedures will meet with best practice and be lawful.
Contact services operate in a range of locations, sometimes this might include a physical contact centre, sometimes this service might be delivered in the community. Where appropriate contact sometimes happens in peoples homes, but a contact centre will never be a residential property.
Services offering supervised contact undertake direct observations and provide written reports, support contact centres do not provide direct observations or write reports. Supported Child Contact Centres are entirely independent and are protected from being called to give evidence in Court Proceedings.
Setting up, managing and running a child contact service is something that needs to be carefully planned. Your overall objective needs to be the creation of an environment where families and children will feel both comfortable and safe but how do you do this?
You need to begin by taking action on the following points. Once you have completed these actions you can become a candidate member.
Guidance – Accreditation Process
- Visit the NACCC Website, complete and submit the ‘Candidate Application, including Working Agreement’ form. Return this to NACCC. Pay initial fee. Co-ordinator training booked by centre.
- NACCC Allocates an Assessor and provides the information needed for a centre to commence working toward accreditation. Centre works with NACCC to complete financial checks.
- The service submits portfolio to assessor. The assessor will then complete accreditation visit. The assessor will write a report and complete an action plan, if required. The service then works to complete the action plan.
- Service completes working agreements and pays remaining fee, and becomes an accredited member.
This process is time-limited and must be completed within 6 months from the ‘Candidate Application, including Working Agreement’ form being submitted.
Prior to completing an application, or paying a fee, the following considerations are essential.
The need for a service in your area
- Have you spoken to CAFCASS, local solicitors, local courts and other child contact services operating in your area at present?
- If you are planning to open a supervised child contact centre, have you spoken to local authorities in your area to see whether they would use your service to facilitate contact for looked after children?
- Have you identified anywhere?
- Where is it?
- When is it available?
- What facilities does it have?
- Will you be using volunteers, paid staff or a combination of the two to run your service?
- How many volunteers/staff will you need to run your service?
- How will you be recruiting these people?
- How much is it going to cost to set up and then run your service for a year?
- Where is this money going to come from?
I still have a query
Please check our frequently asked questions to see if these help with your query.
I have taken action on these points… What next?
- You now need to complete the Membership Application Form, which you can download here.
- Your completed form then needs to be returned along with your payment and a signed copy of the Working Agreement. Send the completed documents to email@example.com.
- Make sure you indicate on the form whether you will be providing supported contact or supervised contact. If you will be providing supervised contact make sure that you indicate whether the centre will operate from a fixed address (we call this child contact centre accreditation) or if you will be operating without a specific venue (we call this child contact service accreditation (CCS)).
- Fact sheets on the different types of accreditation can be found in the downloads below.
- Within fourteen days of us receiving your completed form, you will be sent a letter confirming your Candidate status and giving you information about NACCC’s accreditation process for child contact services. This is because you will be expected to enter into and complete this process within six months of your candidate status being approved.
- Once your service has been accredited it will then become a full member of NACCC, allowed to use our logo and charged an annual membership fee.
Your centre’s accreditation by NACCC will last for a period of three years. You will then be asked to complete a re-accreditation process to maintain your membership and accreditation by NACCC. Any member centre found to be operating outside of NACCC’s National Standards and accreditation processes will be suspended from membership. They will then be removed from membership altogether if they fail to address and resolve the issues that have resulted in them operating outside of NACCC’s National Standards and accreditation processes.
Before completing your application for Candidate status we would advise you to look at the Standards section on this website.
And finally, you need to be aware that CAFCASS, the courts and an ever increasing number of local authorities now require child contact services to be accredited members of NACCC before they will make referrals to them and use their services. We look forward to receiving your application for Candidate status membership of NACCC.