It is a place where non-resident parents and other family members can enjoy time with their children in a friendly, comfortable and safe environment
There are two main types of child contact service:
Supervised Contact is focused on the physical safety and emotional wellbeing of a child. Supervised contact is usually requested by a court or another authority working with the family when risk of harm has been identified. Our supervisors are trained to deal effectively with the parents of vulnerable children and they will act swiftly to ensure that the wellbeing of a child is protected. The contact visits are planned and closely monitored usually lasting for short periods. Our contact centre staff and supervisors will receive copies of any court judgements and relevant documents about the family’s case and notes will be made about the visit in order to properly assess progress over time and to plan an appropriate way forward for the family. Supervised contact can be used to re-introduce parent and child when there has been a long gap in contact. The visiting parent, child and family will be provided with a separate room away from other families and the environment will provide entertainment for the children.
Supported Contact provides a relaxed situation where children can spend positive time with the non-resident parent and family. Supported contact is suitable in situations where there is no significant risk to the child. Our accredited staff members are there to assist in an appropriate way and will aim to encourage mutual trust.Our staff will not closely observe or evaluate the interaction between parent/family members and the children. Detailed reports will not be written by our staff unless of course there appears to be a risk to the child and cause for concern. There may be more than one family using the Centre at the same time.
These are available at weekends from our Centre.
Family disputes that are resolved through mediation are cheaper, quicker and according to academic research, less acrimonious than those that are settled through the courts."
National Audit Office 2/3/07