NYAS Contact Centre service is delighted to have recently received an outstanding audit from CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service), highlighting the range of improvements and developments to safely maintain family contact, especially during lockdown.

The audit outlined an improvement in our referral acceptance score, with a score of 100% in seven out of the audited eight months. Guidance suggests referrals should be responded to within five working days, though we were found to be typically responding the same day. Our contact agreement meeting timescale score (CAM) and contact intervention scores were also shown to have improved significantly.

Throughout the period of lockdown, the NYAS Contact Centre has continued to operate using a new virtual model, using video calls, to ensure children, young people and families could maintain contact in a safe and supported environment. The use of this creative contact, introduced in March through the medium of Skype, remains a successful model with ongoing cases even as the restrictions begin to lift.

NYAS Contact Centre Coordinator, Bethany Wright, said, “It’s apparent that virtual contact will never replace face to face contact and the benefits that come from a physical social interaction, however where we cannot progress to community contact, it’s allowed our services to continue to be delivered. It’s provided a real lifeline to families who have wanted to maintain contact through such challenging times.”

As lockdown restrictions start to ease the NYAS Contact Centre will resume service recovery using a blended approach of a virtual and face to face model where is feasible. Limited face to face delivery within the Birkenhead Contact Centre will recommence from 1st September, with a long term plan to be flexible in our approach and retain creative contact as a complimentary service.

More information on the NYAS Contact Centre can be found here.