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Kara Swift
Kara Swift
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NACCC in urgent government funding plea

Date:24 NOV 2015

Government aid desperately sought to continue ensuring that children have safe contact

The National Association for Child Contact Centres (NACCC) has actioned a bid aimed towards the government, desperately seeking further funding to maintain its current work focusing on safety for children within contact centres.

Should the NACCC not receive the funding it so heavily relies on from the government, it faces discontinuation from as early as February 2016.

The NACCC is a charity that relies on public donations and government subsidies for its upkeep and continuance of its work. It plays a vital role in ensuring that children and young people have a safe environment in which to have contact with parents or carers they do not live with on a constant basis. Over 400 child contact centres nationwide are accredited and supported by the NACCC and are dedicated to providing ‘safe havens’ for children undergoing contact with previously hostile, neglectful or otherwise estranged parents or carers.

It has been well documented just how detrimental both lack of contact with a parent or being caught up in parental conflict can be for a child; clear evidence shows the extent negative effects have on young people’s academic success, general behaviour, emotional or psychological well-being and chances in life as a result of being exposed to damaging experiences involving carers. These children require somewhere safe, inviting and neutral to undergo contact periods with parents or carers with whom they do not live and cannot be reconciled for various reasons.

Elizabeth Coe, CEO of the NACCC, and Parliamentary working groups and panels such as the Family Court Unions Parliamentary Group have collaborated to launch a new campaign promoting the work of the NACCC and child contact centres as a whole. The campaign lobbies for future funding from the government, as well as raising awareness of just how critical the work of child contact centres is regarding the safety and well-being of vulnerable children.

The campaign has both the MoJ and the government (whose funding is made all the more precious by the austerity measures currently in place, particularly within family law) in its sights. It is generally agreed that such authoritative organisations need to be kept informed of the increasingly high volume and quality of work undertaken and achieved by child contact centres across the country while they utilise the small, yet significant and greatly valued, amount of funding already received.