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. Child 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. Those managing child contact services are expected to be experienced in their field and qualified to undertake the work.
The people managing such a service have 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.
During times of uncertainty, (like Covid 19) NACCC may amend standards and membership agreements. Where this is the case appropriate consultation and support will be provided.
2. Service Staffing
It is essential that child contact centres are staffed by suitably skilled and experienced individuals, that are adequate in number to offer a service that meets the needs of those using the centre.
Training, supervision, and support at the centre will enable staff to grow in experience and competence, ensuring a safe and reliable service for children and adults.
4. HR and Recruitment
The systems and processes at a centre must enable all the operations of the service to function in a way that is effective and legal. There must be a clear recruitment procedure that ensures the selection of staff for new and existing child contact centres.
5. Operating Procedures
It is important for all child contact centres to have clear and consistent operating procedures. These procedures need to be known about, understood, and accepted by staff, referrers and families using the centre.
Policies and procedures provide a framework, within which a child contact centre can firstly operate and secondly evaluate the service it is providing.
7. Safeguarding Children / Child Protection
Child contact centres work with families that might be particularly vulnerable because of events that have or continue to happen. The centre must take all possible steps to ensure that the people using its services are adequately protected.
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.
9. Complaints and Compliments
Families need to know that any complaints and compliments they make will be listened to, taken seriously and where appropriate acted upon.
10. Health and Safety Issues
It is important for contact to take place in suitable premises and for staff to receive the instruction and training required for them to manage child contact safely.
11. Equal Opportunities and Diversity
A child contact centre must be committed to developing and maintaining an environment where the ideals, abilities and needs of people with different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives can be valued and accommodated.
12. Domestic Violence and Abuse
A significant number of families using child contact centres have experienced varying levels of domestic violence and abuse, it is therefore important for a centre to be run in a way that takes account of this and allows families and staff to be safe. Where there is a history of proven domestic violence or abuse, a risk assessment must be carried out before contact commences to ensure that this can be managed within a supported centre.
13. Virtual Contact
Virtual contact takes place much like any other form of contact and can include Supervised or Supported services. The main difference with virtual contact is that this is delivered using technology (including TEAMS, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook live etc). This type of contact works well when children and their parents cannot physically be in the same place. This service may also be used as a steppingstone towards achieving face to face contact.
The aim of this standard is to assist centres in ensuring that virtual contact is delivered in a safe and effective way.
It is important for the children of the future that there are a range of services locally to meet their needs. Therefore, NACCC requires all centres to take steps to become more sustainable and self-reliant.