CHILD CONTACT

Our NACCC accredited Child Contact centres provide a warm, safe environment where parents/carers and children can relax and spend time together.

About Child Contact

The service is for parents, grandparents or other family members who are no longer living with their children. 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 the needs of the child as best as possible to ensure their time spent with parents/carers 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 when relationships need support to develop, to benefit the child.

Supervised Contact
  • Where there are more complex issues or concerns as to the safety of children and or adults, we supervise the contact to ensure everybody is safe. Someone will always be in sight and sound of the children and will monitor conversations and provide assistance or intervention if necessary.
  • Families are supervised on a one to one basis. The behaviour of both parent and child are observed and conversations are monitored. During and after the contact session, staff will provide feedback and offer support and guidance to parents to enable contact to be a positive experience for their child or children. We also work with the parent the child lives with to address any worries or concerns they may have.
  • Staggered arrival and departure times are set so neither parent has to meet each other when attending the contact centre.
  • A typed summary of each session will be provided to both parties. Parties can then choose to share the records with the Court or professionals such as Cafcass, solicitors, or social workers.
Assisted Contact
  • Assisted contact is a low level of supervised contact, which supports two families within a session. Staff remain present and monitor interactions and conversations and provide a typed summary of each session.
  • This service may be suitable for those families where children are well settled in their relationship with the visiting parent and have no high level safeguarding concerns, but still require typed summaries to provide in professional arena’s, such as family courts.
  • This service is not suitable for families where one to one support is required.
  • Staggered arrival and departure times are set so neither parent has to meet each other when attending the contact centre.
Supported Contact
  • This is a follow-on service offered after families have attended for supervised or assisted contact. Supported contact is for cases where unsupervised contact has not yet been agreed or is not appropriate but there are no concerns about interaction between parents and children and the main requirement is for a safe, neutral space to spend time together.
  • There may be up to three families in a session at any one time. Sessions are supported by our well established volunteers. A worker may not always be in sight and sound of the children. 
  • Staggered arrival and departure times are set so neither parent has to meet each other when attending the contact centre. 
  • No written observations are provided. Verbal feedback is given after each session.
Handover Contact
  • When unsupervised contact is appropriate but parents do not wish to meet, handover contact can be used and a contact worker will support the handing over and handing back of children.
  • Staggered arrival and departure times are set so neither parent has to meet each other when attending the contact centre. 
  • No written observations are provided. Verbal feedback is given after each session.
Letterbox / Indirect contact
  • We can support indirect contact by sending on letters, cards and/or gifts either via post or email. The addresses of both parents remain confidential.
  • Items received are checked and read to ensure they are appropriate before being sent on. A log is kept of any items received and sent on.

Who can access this service?

To be eligible to access this service a referral form must be submitted.

We can usually accept referrals where there is the following:

  • Ongoing court proceedings
  • Children looked after by local authorities
  • Children adopted or living with family under SGO arrangements (or similar)
  • High levels of conflict
  • Parental communication breakdown
  • Parents building skills and experience caring for their children
  • Parents With Learning Difficulties

Referrals we cannot accept:

  • If parties are awaiting a court hearing / Finding of Fact with regards to domestic abuse. We must know the outcome before a referral can be considered
  • If one of the parties has a conviction or Finding related to domestic abuse, they must have successfully engaged with appropriate work e.g. Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DAPP), Safer Relationships or similar before a referral can be considered further. Anger manager programmes are not appropriate or accepted in this instance
  • Where there is an ongoing police investigation or criminal proceedings
  • Adults who have sexually offended against children, regardless of whether legal proceedings have concluded or are ongoing
  • Referrals whereby there is a threat/risk of violence to another person (regardless of age)

How to access this service:

Arrangements are by referral. The referral can be made by a social worker, solicitor, family mediator, CAFCASS Family Court Advisor or other appropriate professional.

 

We also accept self-referrals from parents or family members that do not have legal representation, subject to safeguarding checks. For self-referrals we require each parent or carer to complete and sign the referral form. Referrals will be accepted at the discretion of the contact centre co-ordinator.

 

When a completed referral form is received, it is assessed by the centre co-ordinator who will confirm if we can accept. If we cannot accept a referral we will explain why and also offer any guidance if we can.

 

Once a referral is accepted we will arrange payment of the referral fee. Then each adult party will be booked in for an introductory meeting or visit with a contact worker. Following completion of introductory meetings, and once we are satisfied that it is appropriate to commence contact, we aim to arrange the first session at the first available opportunity. This will dependant on a number of factors such as centre capacity and parent/carer and child availability.

Direct Contact Services

Referral Form 

Pricelist & Process 

Leaflet

Venue Information – Huddersfield

Venue Information – Doncaster

 

Indirect/Letterbox Contact

Referral Form

Pricelist & Process

Support & Advice

Indirect Contact Factsheet

Resources for Parents and Carers

Online Resources for Parents and Carers

 

If you have any queries please email [email protected] or call 01484 519988

Costs

 

Referral Fee for Supervised/Assisted/Supported contact – £100.00

 

This covers initial administration, assessment of referral form and any additional paperwork, and introductory meetings for parties.

 

Referral fee for Handover or Indirect/Letterbox contact – £30.00

 

This covers initial administration, assessment of referral form and any additional paperwork, and introductory meetings for Handover referrals.

 

Supervised Contact – £75.00 per session consisting of 15 minutes staggered arrival/check in, 1 hour direct contact time, and 15 minutes staggered departure/verbal feedback. A typed observation report is provided.

 

Assisted Contact – £45.00 per session consisting of 15 minutes staggered arrival/check in, 1 hour direct contact time, and 15 minutes staggered departure/verbal feedback. A typed observation report is provided.

 

Supported Contact – £20.00 for a 1 hour session. Staggered arrival and departure time is implemented but not charged for. Verbal feedback is provided. A written report is not provided.

 

Handover – £7.50 for either handing over OR handing back

 

Staggered arrival and departure time is implemented but not charged for. Verbal feedback is provided. A written report is not provided.

 

Handover – £15.00 for handing over AND handing back

 

Staggered arrival and departure time is implemented but not charged for. Verbal feedback is provided. A written report is not provided.

Dates

 

Huddersfield – Face to face contact arrangements run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

 

Doncaster – Face to face contact arrangements run on Saturdays only at present.

Locations

 

Huddersfield contact service:
Yorkshire Children’s Centre
Brian Jackson House
2 New North Parade
Huddersfield
HD1 5JP

 

Doncaster contact service:
Doncaster Central Family Hub
Welcome Way
Doncaster
DN1 3LE

 

**PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DONCASTER VENUE IS HIRED ONLY. We do not have an office at this location. Please contact the main Huddersfield office for any information.**

Contact Details

If you have any questions about this service, please feel free to check out our FAQ page, or contact us using the below information.

This service is provided by YCC’s Child Contact Team, part of the Children & Family Services department.

[email protected]

0300 800 0074

Quote Mark

“Everything is fine here at the contact service, The staff members are brilliant and make everyone feel very comfortable. It was very clean and tidy which was really good especially with Covid-19.”

Quote Mark