Coronavirus guidance for child contact services

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has published guidance to help child contact centres in Scotland safely re-open their premises and resume face-to-face services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Child contact centres are safe venues for parent, and other people in a child’s life to establish or maintain conflict-free relationships with their children. This guidance is for child contact centres that deal primarily with separated parents and families who are referred in private law cases. These centres may provide a mixture of supported and supervised contact, as well as handover services.

This guidance aims to minimise the risk of coronavirus exposure for all child contact centre users, including employees and volunteers at the centre, children and parents using the centre, and other visitors such as child welfare reporters and delivery persons or contractors.

Among other topics, the guidance covers:

  • performing regular risk assessments
  • specific measures for child contact services in particular protection levels
  • communication, staff training and support
  • home working and meetings
  • support for specific groups, including those who are shielding or clinically at risk
  • infection prevention and control (including cleaning, hand hygiene, ventilation and PPE)
  • physical distancing and the use of face coverings
  • what to do if children or staff show symptoms, including advice on Test and Protect and case management
  • maximising use of outdoor spaces
  • evacuation procedures
  • sharing premises
  • travel
  • other sources of guidance and support

Am I eligible?

Anyone can use this service.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Child contact centre providers who are providing face-to-face services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions, as well as those providers who are preparing to reopen.

This guidance is not for centres designed specifically for COVID-19 contact tracing in relation to children. It is for child contact centres that deal primarily with separated parents and families who are referred in private law cases.

How long does this take?

It will take around an hour to read the full guidance.

Important information

This guidance will be kept under review and updated as necessary taking account of any further scientific or medical advice. It does not constitute legal advice. Please ensure that you are reviewing the latest version of this guidance and other COVID advice.

The guidance provides key principles for consideration and is not intended to serve as a checklist. Providers should exercise their judgement to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of staff, children and families is protected. The guidance is not exhaustive and providers must continue to operate within the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks.

Separate guidance is available for family contact for looked-after children and young people and early learning and childcare (ELC) services.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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