Note that the Withington Contact Centre offers supported contact only.
Supported contact is suitable for families when no significant risk to
the child or those around the child has been identified. The basic elements of supported contact are
Volunteers are available for assistance but there is no close observation, monitoring or evaluation of individual contacts/conversations.
Encouragement for families to develop mutual trust and consider more satisfactory family venues.
Apart from attendance dates and times, no detailed report will be made to a referrer, CAFCASS, a party’s solicitor or Court, unless there is a risk of harm to the child, parent or Centre worker.
An acknowledgement that it be viewed as a temporary arrangement to be reviewed after an agreed period of time.
The centre operates a waiting list. Once a referral has been received and processed, it will be added to the waiting list. The family will be contacted directly thereafter to arrange pre-contact visits and start times for the contact once a place has become available.
Only people named on the referral form will be allowed onto the premises. This may be varied by written agreement by both parties. _
Parents are responsible for their children at all times whilst they are at the contact centre.
Please ensure that both parents have read and understood the following sections on this website:
To try and maintain a friendly, impartial and confidential environment, we would request that you do not at any time ask to see your clients on our premises without prior agreement.
Only dates and times of a family’s attendance will be disclosed unless it is felt that anyone using the centre or a volunteer is at risk of harm. In the unlikely event of it becoming necessary to quote a Co-ordinator / Team Leader in any report due to someone (a centre user or volunteer) being at risk of harm, the form of words used should be checked and agreed with the person being quoted beforehand.
Contact centres providing Supported Contact will not knowingly accept a referral when somebody involved has been convicted of any offence relating to a) physical or b) sexual abuse of any child, unless there are exceptional circumstances and they have sought appropriate professional advice.
The contact centre reserves the right to reduce or terminate contact if it is felt to be in the best interest of the child.
Parents should be informed that because the welfare of the child is paramount, there might be times when contact cannot take place if the child is too upset even if there is a contact order.
Referrers should make arrangements for the provision of an interpreter where English is not the first language of the family involved and problems may arise with communication.
The centre should be viewed as a temporary facility to help establish contact. The contact centre will review the family’s progress at least every six months, and it may ask for your assistance in this regard.
Please notify the Co-ordinator if the arrangements for contact are going to change or if contact is going to cease. Contact details are available here.
The Withington Contact Centre is a Member of the National Association of Child Contact Centres and operates in accordance with its National Standards for Child Contact Centres. The full listing and details of our working policies may be found under the Policies and Procedures section of our website. There is also a complaints procedure which can be used if there are any problems.