NACCC – Updated Guidance
15 JUNE 2020
Up until this point the guidance from NACCC has remained for child contact centres not to offer any face to face services. NACCC Trustees have now made the decision that this will remain our guidance for one week further.
At the end of this week, assuming that there is no escalation to the current risk level NACCC guidance will change and we will no longer be recommending that centres remain closed. Therefore, as of Monday 22nd June, we will be recommending that centres make independent decisions about whether they feel able to re-open their services.
The readiness of centres to be able to offer services will vary significantly and no centre should consider opening their services if they do not feel fully prepared or if doing so contravenes any local advice.
The nature of local advice will vary. Centres will make decisions based upon the guidance offered by government, public health bodies, local authorities and referring or funding bodies like Cafcass (Cymru).
NACCC will continue to promote the independence of centres whilst offering guidance that is designed to help them make safe and appropriate decisions. Some centres will open quickly, others will offer restricted services that look and feel different, some might have a virtual offer, whilst others remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Therefore, to support Child Contact Centres we have prepared a checklist that we recommend centres work through, prior to making any decision to open. This is a working document that is open to review at any time. This is intended to act as a guide that each centre will build upon and add to, based upon the individual requirements of their centre. This document could then be available to anyone wishing to see it and act as reassurance that the centre has followed a diligent process in their decision making.
Prior to opening a centre, we would strongly encourage centres to update their knowledge around Covid-19. Read the Government guidelines for the part of the UK your centres functions in as the guidance is different in each. In addition, there is advice on keeping environments and staff safe centres can be confident that they are well informed and prepared to offer as safe as service a possible.
We will continue to monitor the situation and advice running alongside this with a view to getting updated guidance out when the Government issues ‘new rules’. It is planned that this will next be reviewed on the 22nd June and then fortnightly, for the time being.
The review of this information may come sooner or later depending on the information available to us.
Taking this approach will ensure the safety of children and families whilst also seeking to avoid further disruptions, should there be a ‘second spike, or other reason to limit services.
NACCC – Updated Guidance
1st JUNE 2020
At this point the guidance from NACCC has remained for child contact centres not to offer any face to face services. Today we have reviewed the public health advice of the main nations making up the NACCC membership. A document has been provided below with a summary of the information that is publicly available as of today.
Our interpretation of the guidance across all the areas is that this is still not the right time to be opening services. We recognise that other people will have different interpretations of this advice. Our understanding is that: where meetings of people are permitted outside of the home this is to be in an outside public space with 2 metres social distancing. It is also a common theme that you should only meet people from a limited number of other households.
To attend a child contact centre would require families and staff to meet people from at least 3 different households (the child’s, the non-resident parent and that of the person supervising or supporting the session). Even where social distancing can be put in place, contact often takes place indoors which is not in line with current guidance. It is the case that a child can travel between homes for the purposes of contact, however a contact centre is not defined as a home environment.
NACCC will continue to promote the independence of centres whilst offering guidance that is designed to help them make safe and appropriate decisions.
We will continue to monitor the situation and advice running alongside this with a view to getting updated guidance out when the Government issued ‘new rules’. It is planned that this will next be reviewed around 15th June. The review in this information may come sooner or later depending on the information available to us. By 15th June more public services will be open and we will have a clear understanding how schools have managed. Taking this approach will ensure the safety of children and families whilst also seeking to avoid further disruptions, should there be a ‘second spike, or other reason to limit services.
We hope this is helpful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help. Stay in touch and stay safe.
NACCC – Updated Guidance
13th MAY 2020
NACCC are getting increasing amounts of enquiries wanting to know when contact centres will be able to reopen. Please bear in mind that as of today our advice remains that children should not be having face to face contact at NACCC Accredited Child Contact Centres.
NACCC are mindful of the things that being said by Government (England) and we will continue to digest this and make sense of this in the same way we have done to date, so that Child Contact Centres and the people who rely on them have clear messages that they can rely on. For other centres in other parts of the UK the message also remains that children should not be attending contact centres at the present moment in time.
A summary of the information offered by Public Health England has been included below, for the avoidance of doubt:
It is still very important that people stay home unless necessary to go out for specific reasons set out in law. These include:
for work, where you cannot work from home
going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine, and to collect goods ordered online or on the phone
to exercise or spend time outdoors for recreation
any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Where parents or someone with parental responsibility do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes to continue existing arrangements for access and contact.