Keeping children in touch with parents following separation
Adult relationships can remain difficult after parents separate or divorce. Yet the majority of children want, and need, to maintain a relationship with parents and other relatives who are important to them. This is where we can help.
Child contact centres aim to provide a safe, neutral and comfortable place for children to see their non-resident parents or family. You will have to apply to go to a contact centre. You can apply yourself or you may be helped to apply by your mediation service, solicitor, Cafcass officer or social worker. The circumstances of your application and the possible risks attached to contact will be considered before your application can be progressed. This ensures that we can offer your child the best possible service.
Is there a potential risk of harm?It is important that your child is safe using our services.
Child Contact Centres are there for the child(ren) to maintain or re-establish contact. As parents, it may be that trust has broken down or communication may have become difficult. If there is a risk of harm to children then a Supervised service needs to be used. If you need a neutral venue for contact then you may use a Supported service. See below for a list of ALL available contact types.
- Supported Contact
Supported contact centres aim to provide a safe, neutral and comfortable place for children to see their non-resident parents or family.
- Supervised Contact
Supervised contact ensures the physical safety and emotional wellbeing of a child when risks have been identified. It also assists in building and sustaining positive relationships between a child and members of their non-resident family.
Handovers can take place at the majority of child contact centres and are set up through the normal referral process.
Parents do not have to meet, as the handover will be done by contact centre staff or volunteers/
- Supervised Contact Assessment
These can be used to identify the issues that have prevented contact from starting, caused it to break down, or made it unworkable.
- Indirect Contact
Takes place at supervised centres and is used where direct contact is either unsafe, unworkable and or not in the child’s best interests. Contact can be in the form of letters, cards, gifts, emails or Skype.
- Escorted Contact
Takes place at supervised centres and is introduced once a regular, safe and sustainable pattern of contact has been established. Either within a child contact centre or elsewhere, involving the child and non-resident parent being accompanied on visits to places such as local parks, shops and restaurants.
- Life Story/Identity Contact
Takes place at supervised centres and used where a child has no knowledge of or has not had contact with their non-resident parent for some time.
Where is my nearest service?
We offer a comprehensive search facility on our find a contact centre service. NACCC accredited centres can be found in most areas of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and can also be found in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. If you are still having trouble finding a centre then please call our office using the number at the top of this page. For centres in Scotland, please contact Relationship Scotland
Confused by the Jargon?Help is at hand. Click here for an explanation of the terms
Below are some organisations, whose services you may find useful.