Child Contact Centre

The most important people in our Child Contact Centres are the children. We aim to create a warm, sociable atmosphere where you and your children can relax and enjoy yourselves. The Centre has a wide variety of games, toys and books for children of all ages. You may want to bring along some favourite toys, special drinks, or other things you might need such as nappies.

contact

What is Contact?

Contact is the time a child, or children, spend with a parent who no longer lives with them. Sometimes contact involves grandparents or other family members. A Centre such as ours can arrange contact in a safe and secure environment. We provide a range of resources such as toys and games to enable contact to be a positive experience.

Contact is not just about allotting time between parents and family members. We believe it is more helpful to think of contact as ‘time for children’ with an emphasis on the quality of that time. The focus should be on meeting your children’s needs as best you can to ensure their time with you is of value to them.

Child Contact Centres can help when there are safety considerations, or to help trust and reliability to develop between parents and carers. We can help when parents or carers need time to agree alternative plans or relationships need some time and support to develop.

Supervised Contact

Where there are concerns as to the safety of children and or adults, we supervise the contact to ensure everybody is safe. Contact is arranged so that neither parent has to meet each other when attending the contact centre. Families are supervised on a one to one basis in supervised contact or there may be two families in assisted contact sessions. Children are accompanied by a member of staff at all times to ensure their safety. The behaviour of both parent and child are observed and conversations are monitored. During and after the contact session staff will offer support and guidance to parents to enable contact to be a positive experience for their child or children. We also work with the resident parent to address any worries or concerns they may have. We provide detailed observations of contact and these are shared with CAFCASS and the Court.

Other types of Contact

We understand that resident parents need to feel that their child(ren) will be safe when considering whether contact can progress.
We offer a range of services to promote contact and also offer:

Supported contact

This is available following a period of supervised or assisted contact. There may be up to four families in a session at any one time. The sessions are supported by a member of staff and often volunteers. No written observations are provided.

Handovers

When unsupervised contact is appropriate but parents do not wish to meet.

Letterbox

We can support indirect contact by sending on letters, cards and gifts. The addresses of both parents remain confidential.

FAQ

How Are Sessions Arranged?

Sessions are by referral. The referral can be made by a social worker, solicitor, family mediator, CAFCASS Family Court Advisor (formerly known as the court welfare officer) or by a court order. Arrangements will vary depending on which type of contact session is taking place.

Do I have to meet my former partner when I go to the centre?

Not if you don’t want to. The Centre staff will deal with the handover of your child so you don’t need to meet your former partner, who will have been asked to arrive before you.

Is there anything i need to do?

As this is a special time for children to spend with the parent they no longer live with, please keep all disagreements out of the Child Contact Centre. Remember your child is hurting too. Make this a happy time for them.

What happens if i can't attend a scheduled session?

Let the Contact Centre know as soon as possible – contact details are on the bottom of this page.

Does the centre make any reports about us?

During supervised and assisted contact sessions observation notes are made by contact centre staff. These can be used to advise your solicitor, CAFCASS Family Court Advisor or the courts on how the sessions have been progressing. Reports are also available upon request.

I don't have a solicitor, can I self refer?

Yes, we do accept referrals from parents or family members that do not have legal representation, subject to safeguarding checks. You can download a copy of the referral form here, ground rules and charges here. The referral form must be filled in by both parties involved. Referrals will be accepted at the discretion of the contact centre co-ordinator.

Charges

A full breakdown of charges, times and all the information you need to know about booking will be available here to download very soon, but in the meantime please call Brian Jackson House reception on 01484 519988.