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.
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 have taken action on these points… What next?
- You now need to complete the Application Form for Candidate Status (which includes the Working Agreement).
- Your completed form then needs to be returned along with your payment and a signed copy of the Working Agreement. Make sure you indicate on the form whether you will be providing supported contact or supervised contact.
- 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 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.