Child Contact Centre
What is a Child Contact Centre?
Child Contact Centres are places where children can spend time with the parent they do not live with and/or other family members in a relaxed, friendly and safe environment.
Children can have contact with parents/other family members for up to two hours within the centre, spend some time inside and some time outside the centre, or you can use the centre for pick-up and drop-off only.
If parents/family members would prefer not to meet, our trained and friendly staff will be there to help manage the situation.
While children are using the centre they remain the responsibility of the adult who brings them or the adult with whom they are having contact. Staff are on hand to help facilitate contact but are not responsible for looking after children.
The Contact Centre is open every Saturday between 9am and 3pm and can also be used for pick-up and drop-off of children during these times or at other times, by arrangement.
Who is it for and when is it helpful?
The Child Contact Centre may be helpful if:
- You are recently separated and would like a neutral place for your children to spend time with you/the other parent in the short-term (until you are both able to make longer term plans).
- You and the other parent/family members have little or no communication or find it difficult to manage contact arrangements without conflict.
- There has been a long gap in contact (or no previous contact) between children and a parent/relative.
- You are planning to approach the court for a ‘contact order’ (the child contact centre can be named as a venue for contact in a court order).
Families can use the contact centre for as long as they need to but our hope is that it will be used as a ‘stepping stone’ until parents are able to manage their own arrangements.
How does the Child Contact Centre work?
A referral is made to us (this can be a self-referral, a referral, with your permission, by someone else, or a court order for contact in which the Child Contact Centre is named).
The Contact Centre co-ordinator will arrange to meet with all the adults involved separately (and will sometimes meet with children separately).
Once all of the contact details have been agreed we will send out an ‘arrangements for using the Child Contact Centre’ letter to everyone involved (which we asked to be checked and signed).
Once families are using the Child Contact Centre, the centre co-ordinator will conduct regular reviews with all those involved and, if everyone agrees, changes to the contact arrangements can be made.
Is it confidential?
We will maintain your confidentiality unless we hear or become aware of anything that causes us to have concerns about the safety of your child, where there is violence or threats, or we witness an act leading to criminal proceedings, or if something is said in our centre that indicates to staff that you or any others involved in using the centre may have benefitted from the proceeds of crime.
How much will it cost?
Supported Contact: There is no charge for supported contact or for managed handovers, however donations are welcomed.
Supervised Contact: Charges do apply for supervised contact. A list of charges are available on request. Parents should check with their solicitor about Legal Aid.
Please click the links below for two leaflets on using a Child Contact Centre.
Child Contact Centre
It doesn't have to be hard to see your children after separation
Please click on the links below to watch three short films on using a Child Contact Centre
Going to a Child Contact Centre
Child Contact in Scotland: Supported
Child Contact in Scotland: Supervised
Please contact us