The NACCC Standards ensure that Child Contact Services are Safe and effective places for children to enjoy contact with people that are important in their lives. A full copy of these is not currently, publicly available. However, this webpage provides a summary of these that we hope will be helpful.
1. Contact Service Management.
The key to any successful service is one that has a management team that drives to move the organisation forward, learning as it does so. These services are often run by volunteers that have either attended a NACCC training course or engaged in other appropriate learning exercises.
The people managing such a service had a duty to the Children using the service, as well as to their family members, staff and all relevant others to ensure that the service effectively understands, reflects and meets the needs of the local community.
The centre will ensure that it has safe and effective systems to recruit, screen and train volunteers. Which will include DBS and reference checking all at the service.
Buildings will be safe and appropriate; the centre will also have insurance for the buildings and the services provided.
Supported Centres will not usually work with families, with current social services involvement. However, there are circumstances where this is appropriate. In these circumstances, there is an accepted expectation that the social worker will engage in exit planning from the outset.
Services must operate in a lawful way. This will mean that charities need a structure approved by the Charity Commission.
Centres will be certified by an accreditation body in terms of how it protects people’s personal information through the systems it uses.
2. Service Staffing.
The staffing of Child Contact Services tends to be the biggest asset that any organisation has in place, particularly in a supported centre where it is more likely that these people will be unpaid volunteers. A workforce that is well trained and competent will be well equipped to deliver excellent services that can create the foundations for positive change in families’ lives that has the potential to be long lasting and sustainable.
3. Staff Training.
Staff training is crucial to the needs of children and young people. The staff can only provide services that holistically meet the needs of children, young people, and their families when they have access to the best quality, up to date information.
Provision should be made for all staff to receive training that is relevant to the service they provide and their individual development needs and on a regular basis.
4. New Centres & New Workers, Volunteers & Trustees.
There are specific requirements in place that relate to NACCC Membership and accreditation. All of these will be met to become accredited and must be maintained at all times to stay accredited with NACCC.
All centres must have robust procedures in place for the safe recruitment of staff. These procedures will be followed diligently and consistently in order to ensure that children and their families are safe at the centre.
These robust procedures will ensure that these volunteers are inducted, trained, and supported in their roles at the centre.
5. Operating Procedures.
It is important for all Child Contact Services to have clear and consistent operating procedures. These procedures need to be known about, understood and accepted by staff, referrers and families using the Service.
These procedures will include a robust referral process, with information for parents, children and referrers about this process. A referral process should also include pre-visits for all who might be engaging with the contact service.
The centre will have good quality resources and processes for the cleaning & maintenance of these.
The centre should have a range of policies and procedure that are written with a focus on keeping children and their family members safe whilst they are using child contact centres. These policies should be reviewed regularly and made available in a reasonable way.
5. Safeguarding Children.
Child contact services have a unique opportunity to recognise and identify the risks faced by children. Therefore, they also have significant responsibilities to keep them safe.
The safety of children is paramount. Child contact services will have robust systems in place that ensure children are protected, before during, and after using a service.
Every Child Contact Service needs a system in place to ensure children are safe from abuse when they are using the Service and that suspicions or allegations of abuse are responded to properly.
Families using child contact services have a right to know that information about them will be treated in line with best practice relating to confidentiality. People using services must be able to trust child contact services and the way that their information is kept safe.
7. Complaints and Compliments.
Child contact services must recognise that there will be times when people have varying emotions about the services they receive. Depending upon these experiences people might want to formally record compliments or complaints. Every centre must have a clear policy and procedure that outlines how complaints will be managed and what people can expect. It is also important that centres work within this policy, demonstrating best practice in impartiality and non-judgemental processing of complaints.
8. Health & Safety.
Child contact centres must be safe places for children and their families. The measures that ensure this must be carefully planned and regularly reviewed.
9. Equal Opportunities & Diversity.
Child Contact Service must be committed to ensuring it affords equal opportunities to all that use the service. This will ensure that services meet the individual needs of those using them and that services are individual tailored to meet the specific needs of the children and families using them.
10. Domestic Violence & Abuse.
A significant number of families using Child Contact Services have experienced varying levels of Domestic Violence and Abuse, whether this be proven or alleged, it is therefore important for a Service to be run in a way that takes account of this and allows families and staff to be safe.