What is a child contact centre?

What is a child contact centre?

What is a child contact centre?

What is a child contact centre?

What are the different types of contact?

Will I need to see my ex-partner?

Will you write a report on us?

Finding the right support for your family is very important. Often you might hear lots of jargon being used about child contact centres. Here is some information on questions we are asked at The Starting Point. If you have any more detailed questions please give us a call we would be happy to help your family to thrive in any way we can. 0113 246 4940

What is a child contact centre/family time centre?
The Starting Point Centre Family and Child Contact Centre offers a safe, friendly, and neutral space where children of separated families can spend time with their absent parent, and sometimes other family members. Our centre is a child friendly, and a child focused environment, that enables family time away from high conflict situations, that provides toys, games and facilities that reflect the diverse needs of children affected by family breakdown. We offer all types of family time for any type of family.

Why use a contact centre/family time centre?
At the Starting Point Centre, we appreciate that separation can be a really difficult time and that some parents struggle to communicate, agree arrangements, see each other, and share their children with their ex-partner or extended family. A relationship breakdown between you and your partner, however, should not affect the bond your child shares with you both, and the importance that you have in their life. Breaking such a bond can have a devastating effect on your child’s happiness and their ability to reach their potential as they grow and develop.

What are the different types of contact?

The Starting Point Centre offers several different types of contacts to meet your child’s needs.

  • Supported Contact
  • Summarised Supported
  • Supervised Contact
  • Letterbox & indirect contact
  • Community contact
  • Handovers
  • Court reports
  • Family mediation
  • Parenting plans

Are The Starting Point Centre staff neutral?
The Starting Point Centre are independent of the Courts, Social Care and Cafcass. Our staff are neutral and are trained to concentrate on your child rather than any ongoing disputes between you and your ex-partner or other family members.

Will I need to see my ex-partner?
Not if you do not wish to, if it is not safe to do so, or if you believe the meeting will impact negatively on your child. There are three options for entrance and exiting the centre and staggered intervals can be planned in.

How will you know about my child’s needs?
All contact will be subject to a risk assessment undertaken by our team, which can be in consultation with your social worker, solicitor, mediator, or family court advisor. There will also be opportunity for you to meet with us before contact starts in a pre-contact visit.

Are there rules at The Starting Point Centre?
Our first and foremost priority is to keep your child safe, so yes, we have rules. Our rules, expectations, terms, and conditions will be discussed at the pre-contact visit.

Will you write a report on us?
If supported contact is agreed, we will not provide a report, other than a record of attendance. However, a report will be produced during summarised supported and supervised contact and shared with relevant parties.

Are all staff qualified social workers?
All our staff are well qualified but not as social workers and all have high levels of training, especially in safeguarding.

How quickly can I get a contact session set up?
This is likely to take a minimum of 2-3 weeks. It is very dependent on the availability of all parties to engage with the process.

How do I access your service?
Most referrals are made through the court, Cafcass, solicitors and mediators. However, self-referral and referral through the National Association of Children’s Centres (NACCC) is also possible.

Can it lead to Family Mediation after contact?
Yes it certainly can. Our in-house mediator Anna would have a chat with you when you are ready, and either be able to support you herself or signpost to another mediator in her network.

Is there a cost attached to contact?
Yes, prices are available on our website and there is also some funding towards supported contact. Every case is different. The cost for using the centre and mediation is much less expensive than going to court, make sure you understand all your options before commencing court proceedings.

The Starting Point Centre,
201a Harrogate Road,
Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3PT
(park in Toby Carvery car park, walk down the right-hand side and follow our signs)
Tel: 0113 246 4940
Email: [email protected]

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