What do we do?

Our Child Contact Centre is a safe, warm, friendly and neutral place where children of separated families can spend time with their non-resident parent, and sometimes other family members.  We are also able to facilitate ‘handovers’ between the resident and non resident parent if supported by a court order authorising the child/children to be taken outside of the centre.

The most important people in the Child Contact Centre are the children. We aim to create a warm, sociable, friendly atmosphere where you and your children can relax and enjoy yourselves.  Our aim is to make this time happy for the children.

How is the session run:

  • Volunteers arrive early to set up The Child Contact Centre with a variety of toys, games, arts & crafts and books according to the age of the children we are expecting that day. We have a ball pit and slide and/or table tennis too and music. We also have a kitchen area that adjoins the main contact session hall and use of this can be discussed with the Co-ordinator.
  • The resident parent and the visiting parent/family members will have different entry/exit points into the centre. There is no need for parents/family members to meet if this is difficult – the sessions are focussed on the children having the most enjoyable time possible.
  • At the start of the session, the Co-ordinator will escort the children between the rooms to start the contact.
  • The visiting parent/family members will have use of a fairly large hall filled with many toys/activities. Families often move around the space depending on what the children want to do – some interaction between the children is normal. Parents are free to bring their own toys/activities for use during the session or to use the kitchen for some baking fun.
  • The volunteers will offer tea, coffee and squash during the session to everyone.
  • The volunteers will support all family members during the session and help with playtime as appropriate.
  • The Co-ordinator will collect the session fee as pre-arranged.
  • Contact is booked in one hour slots ahead of time – 1 to 2 hours. Contact is inside the centre hall only – there is no outdoor space.
  • At the end of the session the Co-ordinator will escort the children back to the resident parent.
  • After the session has completed the voluteers will clear away the toys and clean the area as appropriate.

The Rules?

We aim to have as few as possible! However, the needs of the children must come first and our aim is to help create a fun meeting environment where the kids have happy memories of their time with the visiting parent/family members.

  • Parents must be responsible for the safety and supervision of their children at all times at the centre. No child may be left without a parent/family member in attendance.
  • Children cannot be taken from the centre without prior written consent from both parents or court order if applicable.
  • The use of mobile phones/ipads/tablets are not permitted at any time.
  • The use of a camera or video is not permitted at any time.
  • There must be no arguing 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.
  • Use of alcohol is not permitted in the centre. We retain the right to refuse contact if family members are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Relatives and friends can only attend if on the referral form.