How often is the centre open?
The centre is open 7 days a week between 9:30am and 5pm for facilitating a full range of child contact services.
Who runs the contact centre?
Family Matters Enterprise is a private limited company and a social enterprise. The contact centre is run by a dedicated team of staff that includes a combination of paid staff and volunteers.
How do I apply to use the Centre?
We welcome self referrals and those made by solicitors, local authorities and other relevant agencies. Please see our referral process for more information about referring by post or making a referral online.
What will happen when I arrive?
When you arrive a member of staff will ask you to sign in and show you where to wait until the contact begins. We will then follow the pre-arranged contact agreement that you will already be aware of.
Does you contact centre have wheelchair access?
The centre has wheelchair access and the toilet facilities are due to be refurbished to allow for wheelchair access and those who need additional space.
Will I have to wait in the centre during contact?
You are welcome to wait at the centre, where our staff will make you feel comfortable. Or you can go away and return later. If you do leave the centre, we like to have a phone number so that we can contact you if necessary.
Will my child be safe?
The centre has been given enhanced accreditation by the National Association of Contact Centres (NACCC). This is recognised by Cafcass and the judiciary as the standard required, ensuring the needs of children and families come first. Our staff all undergo appropriate training and are DBS checked.
What happens if I need to cancel an arranged visit?
If you can’t attend an appointment please let the centre co-ordinator know as soon as you can, preferably at least 48 hours in advance to avoid any wasted journeys. Please also let your partner know, if you can, or tell us in good time so that we pass on the information.
Who is a contact centre for?
The contact centre is primarily for children. It facilitates safe child contact and promotes positive relationships between children and their family members by providing short-term help and support towards re-establishing and maintaining contact.
What qualifications do the supervisors have?
Our team of staff come from different backgrounds and collectively have a broad range of qualifications. They include social workers, qualified nurses, university students and experienced foster carers. All of our staff and volunteers have the appropriate training to supervise contact.
Can I bring my child to see the centre before contact begins?
Yes, in fact we actively encourage this, as it will help your child(ren) settle in and feel more relaxed when the contact sessions start.
Will I be able to look at any reports that are written about contact?
Yes you are fully entitled to look at the reports. But if the contact has been arranged, or is being managed by CAFCASS you will have to make arrangements with them to see them.
If you’ve got a question about child contact, contact centres or child contact services that hasn’t been covered in our faqs, just ask it below!
We’ll answer promptly and if we think it will help others, we’ll add it to the list.