The main aim of our child contact service is to help build and sustain positive relationships between children, parents and close family members.
Referrals can be made for single, one-off contacts or block bookings by following our straightforward referral process. This process is slightly different depending on who’s making the referral.
We work with families engaged in private law cases and welcome referrals made by solicitors representing a parent who’s requesting contact. We’re also happy to accept self referrals or work in partnership with social services.
Types of Child Contact Services
We recognise that every family has different needs, that’s why we make our service as flexible as possible. Here’s a summary of the types of contact we can facilitate at our contact centre in Birmingham.
Supported contact is facilitated within the contact centre. We have trained staff at hand who will support both children and non-resident parents while they spend time together. If parents don’t want to meet each other at the centre, this can easily be arranged.
This type of contact takes place with one of our trained supervisors within constant sight and sound of the child. This ensures the safety and emotional well-being of a child (when potential risks have been identified), while enabling children and parents to spend time together in a welcoming environment.
Supervised Contact Assessments
Supervised contact assessments help to identify issues that may have prevented contact from starting, or caused it to have broken down in the past. They aim to prepare families, so they can move towards re-establishing regular contact.
In addition to direct work with children, contact assessments can include interviews with both parents (either separate or together) and may include discussions with statutory agencies involved with the child or family.
We can facilitate escorted contact once a safe and sustainable pattern of contact has been established. This can involve the child and non-resident parent being accompanied by our trained member of staff on visits to local places, such as parks, shops, or restaurants.
Life Story Identity Contact
This is suitable when there are gaps in what a child knows about their past. It focuses on establishing and then building on the things a child does know about their family. During life story contact we encourage children to learn about positive aspects of their parentage and heritage.
This takes place at the contact centre and assists parents who do not want to meet each other. Handover of children for contact is managed by our contact centre staff and arranged through the normal referral process.
Help with Transport
As part of our supervised child contact service, we can help with transport if help is required. This would be provided by a trained member of staff who has had appropriate checks with the Disclosure & Barring Service.
A detailed report or summary of supervised contact can be completed if requested.