Child Contact Centres can help by providing an impartial environment for children to enjoy contact with their non-resident parent away from the conflict of their parents’ relationship. They can also be invaluable in helping to rebuild the parent and child relationship after a long absence.
Contact Centres are safe, neutral places where children can spend time with their non-resident parent or family members.
The centres are often set up in a similar way to nurseries or playgroups with an assortment of toys and games for children of all ages. There will be a mix of private rooms and communal spaces, some have outdoor areas such as playgrounds attached.
The centres are run by volunteers, paid staff or a mixture of both. Each staff member will have a CRB check and most have backgrounds in childcare or social work. The staff remain impartial and do not side with either parent, they are there just to help facilitate contact in situations where it may be difficult for the parents to do so directly, or where they may be safeguarding concerns.
Contact Centres are extremely useful where there has been domestic violence between the parents, where there are concerns for safety such as a parent with alcohol or substance abuse issues, or simply where things are too emotionally raw for the parents to participate in direct contact.
Where there has been a large break in contact, contact centres can assist by providing a safe space and support to re-establish contact between the parent and child.
Parents, family members and young adults can a contact Child Contact Centres directly. It is also possible for solicitors acting on behalf of the parents to arrange contact or for the Court to make an order directing which Child Contact Centre should be used.
Some child contact centres are free, but the majority charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of running the centre. As the fees vary it is advisable to check with your local centre.
The National Association of Contact Centre’s website contains lots of useful information for parents, as well as age-appropriate information and illustrated stories for children and young people. You can access the website here.
If you find yourself in need of assistance with your child arrangements, please get in touch. Our specialist knowledge and proven results with child arrangements can help you to navigate through this difficult time.
If you would like to speak confidentially to our team of family solicitors you can call 020 7993 2936 to schedule an appointment or make a Contact Request here.
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