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Dundee, Angus & Perth:
01382 201343

Fife:
01592 751095

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Child Contact Centres

Supporting family contact, providing space to meet

What are Child Contact Centres?

Child Contact Centres play a key role in helping children affected by family breakdown to maintain relationships with the parent they do not live with or other family members. The central concept of a Child Contact Centre is to offer a safe, friendly, neutral, child-centred environment for children to meet with their non-resident parent or family member with trained staff in attendance offering support as and when required.

They are designed to be a stepping stone to a more permanent arrangement for future contact.

Why do we need Child Contact Centres?

In most cases, it is better for children to remain in contact with both of their parents after separation or divorce. However, some parents find it very difficult to agree to share their children's time with the other parent or extended family members. There may be many reasons for this, including the parents simply having real difficulty in communicating and agreeing arrangements. Child Contact Centres help to provide children with a safe, neutral environment, away from high conflict situations so they can see their parent they do not live with, or other family members.

How do people get to use them?

Those wishing to make a referral should get in touch with us so detailed arrangements of the contact can be discussed. Most referrals are made through the court, solicitors or social work, but we also accept self-referrals. Please note that we have the right to refuse a referral or cancel a service once it has begun.

What types of contacts are there?

Supported Hand-Over

Providing a venue to "pick up" and "drop off" children for out-of-centre contact. Staff support the hand-over of the child from one parent to the other. A record of attendance is kept and an attendance record can be provided upon request.

Supported Contact

Supporting the hand-over of the child from one parent to the other, and supporting contact within the Centre when needed. Information on interactions before, during after the contact is not recorded, unless it is a child protection or health and safety issue. A record of attendance is kept and an attendance record can be provided upon request.

Supervised Contact

Supervised contact is a provision identified in situations where contact takes place in the constant presence of a third party with direct responsibility to observe and ensure the safety of those involved. Factual reports can be provided upon request.

Once you have used supported or supervised contact services, you may be able to access supervised Out-of-Centre Contact, also. Please ask for more information.

How long does referral take?

The process is dependent on things such as parental cooperation, the judicial process and availability of a place at the Centre. There is no set time for how long the process takes from the first point of trying to obtain contact to the actual contact taking place.

What kind of people run them?

Child Contact Centres are operated by a management team and trained staff (both paid and volunteers). The Board of Directors consists of qualified people with relevant backgrounds, and can include sheriffs, social workers, teachers, solicitors, doctors etc. All staff members are trained in child protection, health and safety, conflict management, confidentiality and domestic abuse.

What age do children have to be to use a Centre?

There is no age limit at Child Contact Centres. While many children are younger, some young people at the age of 16 or over may have additional support needs and require the use of a safe venue. Child Contact Centres provide that place regardless of a child's age.

One-to-one support

Our Family Support Worker can help with issues around parenting, substance misuse, mental health difficulties, child protection concerns, domestic abuse, welfare, or any other matter that is identified as an obstacle to the child/ren building and maintaining a quality relationship with you, and/or you establishing a positive parenting relationship with the other parent. This may include taking the first steps to discuss matters in mediation. The Family Support Worker works within the ethos of our organisation, to help empower you to overcome these obstacles and enable you to co-parent effectively, for the benefit of your child/ren. 

You can only access this service if you are using the Child Contact Centres.

At the initial intake appointment you will receive detailed information about the role of the Family Support Worker, who may contact you separately following your intake, to arrange a meeting with you. This, and any further meetings, will take place outwith the contact sessions. It may be that it is through using the Child Contact Centre that the need to engage with the Family Support Worker is identified. This will be discussed with you at the time.

Is it confidential?

Yes it is, under the same terms as any other part of our service. This means that generally, we will not provide any information about your engagement with us to any third party, without your explicit knowledge and consent (exclusions apply).

You will find answers to some commonly asked questions, under What We Do.

I have found both the contact centre service and the mediation service extremely helpful and both have helped greatly to get to the point we are at now where me and [mum] can work together to do the best for our son. So thanks very much for all the help we have received.

Dundee DD3 6HG

Relationships Scotland Family Mediation Tayside and Fife is the operating name of Family Mediation Tayside and Fife