Supervised Contact: This is a form of contact provided where it is assessed that there might be a higher risk or greater complexity in a case. These sessions will be supervised by staff who are experienced in this role. Observations will be made, and reports will be written. It is expected that staff will always remain within sight and sound of children.
Supervised contact services are running normally. Waiting times are currently longer than we’d like due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supported Contact: This is a form of contact where the level of risk is assessed to be lower than might be the case for supervised contact. It is also used to progress from supervised contact. In supported contact, direct observations are not made, and reports are not written. Staff or volunteers will be present to ensure the comfort of those engaging in the service.
Our supported contact service is currently not available. Check back later for updates.
Virtual Contact: This is a form of contact that takes place online, using video messaging software like Teams or Skype. Virtual contact can be either supervised or supported.
Feel free to discuss Virtual Contact with the centre staff. We are currently offering Virtual Supervised Contact.
Handovers: This form of contact supports a child moving from one parent to another. Contact will often take place away from a centre with no professional involvement. Handovers can often be used to progress from supported or supervised contact.
Indirect Contact: This term is a generic term for a wide variety of activities that might be considered contact. These activities can include sending letters or cards (sometimes called “letterbox contact”) or sending gifts. In this scenario, the role of a professional is often to support this process by ensuring that the gifts are appropriate, and letters do not contain inappropriate messages prior to forwarding these to the child. This service can be helpful where one parent cannot know the home address of the child.
Community Contact: This is a contact service offered by Supervised Centres. Sometimes this will have varying other names, “escorted contact” is one example. Community contact takes place in locations like restaurants, shopping centres, cinemas, or soft play centres for example. This type of contact is not appropriate for all families.
Pre-visit: This is mandatory preparation for a contact visit held at the centre. This will cover the ground rules and expected conduct at the centre. Parents may be asked to sign a contact agreement. Children will also be offered the opportunity to engage in pre-visits to help them prepare for the service being offered.