Who are Children’s Contact Services?

Children’s Contact Services are a private organisation that supports safe contact between children and their non-resident parents. Contact supervisors observe and intervene if, or when necessary to ensure that the contact for the child is positive. Childrens Contact Services have specially trained staff who will fully supervise a child’s contact with a non-resident parent. We are impartial and independent from the authorities.

Do I have to meet my ex-partner when I go to the Centre?

No, not if you don’t want to, we have arrangements that enable the handover of contact to not include the need for parents to meet. Parents however are responsible for their children always while at the Centre so you must wait with your child until your ex-partner arrives. Or your ex-partner is asked to arrive in advance so that you can simply bring your child to contact without the concern of seeing your ex-partner. The Centre staff can deal with the handover of your child so you don’t need to meet your ex-partner.

What happens if I can’t come at a time when I’ve arranged a visit?

You must inform the Centre and if applicable your child’s social worker as soon as you become aware of this.

Does the Centre make any reports about us?

Children’s Contact Services are independent of the courts, social services or any statutory agency. We complete written reports about all visit for our own records. If you are privately funding contact yourself as a parent you can request the contact reports. They can be released if ordered by the courts during proceedings. All reports are monitored, if we believe that a child is at risk, or if a member of staff or Centre user is at risk of harm we will follow Child Protection procedures and inform the authorities. If we are commissioned by Social Services, then reports are automatically released to the child’s Social Worker and families can obtain the reports from the Social Worker.

Is there anything I need to do?

As this is time limited and a special time for children to spend with the parent they no longer live with, we ask that new partners or other family members do not attend the Centre without prior agreement. Please also keep disagreements away from the Centre. Remember that your child is hurting too. If you are a private client you will be asked to attend a pre-contact visit to agree to our terms and conditions before contact can commence.

How are the visits arranged?

Visits are by referral. The referral can be made by a social worker, solicitor, family mediator, CAFCASS officer (formerly known as a court family welfare officer), or by a court order. The person making the referral fills out a referral form and sends it to the Centre Co-ordinator. How often you come to the Centre depends on the specified frequency and when the Centre is available. It is advisable for you (the parent) and your child or children to come and see the Centre before your first arranged visit. This will help you get to know the Centre and the staff, and make your first visit easier.

What is it like at Children’s Contact Services Centre?

The most important people that use our Centre are the children. We aim to create a warm, relaxed, sociable atmosphere where you and your children can enjoy yourselves. The Centre has an area with a variety of games, toys and books for children of all ages. You may want to bring along some favourite toys, snacks/drinks, or other things you might need such as nappies. Children’s Contact Services is run by fully trained staff. They are sensitive and impartial, so they do not take sides. Children’s Contact Services work to a strict confidentiality policy and have all been through an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service. (Formally known as the Criminal Records Bureau).

What is a Child Contact Centre?

Children’s Contact Services Centre is a safe, friendly and neutral place where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents, and sometimes other family members. It is a child centred environment that focusses on the needs of the children.

Can I have Contact in the community?

All private referrals require their first contact to take place at the Centre, if after this first contact visit it is agreed that a community contact can take place we can provide community contact with the same level of supervision as in the Centre. However, some contact visits will always remain at the centre due to risks. We aim to create a positive experience for the child during the time limited contact with the non-resident parent. In the majority of cases community contact is something that we work towards.

Are there any rules?

• Parents are responsible for the safety and supervision of their children always while at the Centre. No child may be left without a parent on the premises.

• You must provide a contact telephone number when leaving children at the Centre.

• A child may only be taken from the Centre during a visit if this is stated on the referral form, or with the written consent of both parents.

• Relatives or friends can only attend if they are named on the referral form or agreement has been given prior to the contact taking place.

• There must be no disagreements in front of any of the children. Abusive or aggressive behaviour and racist or other offensive remarks will not be tolerated. Any visitor acting in such a way will be asked to leave.

• No smoking in the Centre. Switch off your mobile phone while you’re with your child. Don’t bring any pets. No taking photographs, video filming, or use of portable computers unless the other party and the Coordinator or Team Leader have given their permission. Alcohol, drugs, or anyone under the influence of these will not be allowed onto the premises.

Will I still be charged if I cancel or not turn up to my contact?

We have a strict 48 Hour cancellation policy. If you or the other party cancel your contact / appointment within 48 Hours of it commencing or fail to make your visit you will still be charged the full amount.

What is eLearning?

We offer many eLearning courses which are conducted online in the comfort of your own home. All courses count towards to continuous personal development (CPD) training. On completion, all courses have the ability to print an eCertificate.

Are there breaks in the training?

There are plenty of breaks during the course. You will be given drink breaks and a lunch break. No one can spend all day in the classroom without a break!

Can I take my children to the training?

Unfortunately, not as this can cause disruption to the group – it may also mean that you won’t be able to give 100% focus to the training.

I booked a course but can’t attend?

Our courses are restricted to 8 delegates. If for whatever reason you cannot attend a course you have booked, please call or email the office. If you give us 48 hours’ notice, we will move you to another course free of charge.

Is a 0333 number free to phone?

Yes, 0333 numbers are free to phone using a BT landline and are including in any free minutes you have with your network provider.

I want to book for a group but do not know when we want the training?

That is no problem, please book your group and pay online. If we have 21 days’ notice, we can generally conduct your training for you on your specified date.

Do you train at weekends?

Yes, most of our courses are available to book on a weekend.

I want to book a course but there are no course dates?

No problem, just call the office on 0333 577 8500 or email info@childrenscontactservices.com and we will arrange the course for you on a date of your choice.