Frequently asked questions
How often can we use the Centre and do I have to pay anything?
The Centre is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday each month between 10:30 and 12:30. There is no charge.
Who runs the Centre?
The Centre is staffed by volunteers. The Co-ordinator, also a volunteer, deals with referrals, arranging the first visit and allocation (there could be a waiting list).
What is there to do?
There is a wide range of toys and games for all ages of children. There is a waiting room that can be used by the resident parent. Refreshments (tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits) are provided.
Will my child be safe?
All volunteers undergo appropriate training and are CRB checked. Children are the responsibility of one or other parent at all times.
How do I apply to use the Centre?
If you are using a solicitor or family mediation service they will apply on your behalf. If you want to apply yourself, either or both parents can apply using the form on the Parents page.
How long can we attend your Centre?
The intention is that families move on from Contact Centres and we will review your attendance with you every 3 months.
What will happen when I arrive?
A volunteer will sign you in and show you where to wait until the contact begins. If it is your first visit, you will be given an appointment time, have a meeting with our Co-ordinator and be shown around.
Do you have disabled access facilities?
We have limited facilities for the disabled – please contact us below to discuss your specific requirements.
Do I have to wait in the Centre while my child has contact with my former partner?
You can wait in the waiting room or you can go and come back later. Please make sure that we have a telephone number, to contact you if necessary.
Do I have to meet my former partner?
If you don't wish to meet, let us know. You will be given different arrival and departure times and you will be able to stay in different rooms.
Can I take my child out?
Only if this is agreed with your former partner, or it is in a court order. If this is agreed, please make sure we have a mobile number and let us know where you are going. There is a park with a play area within easy walking distance.
Can I bring my new partner or other relatives?
No, not unless this is agreed with your former partner, or it is in a court order.
Will reports be made about what happens in the Centre?
Information is kept confidential; we only release attendance records. We don't give reports to solicitors, courts or other parties, unless we have concerns about the health, safety or welfare of a child.
Will I always get my full contact time?
The length of contact may be stipulated by the court or agreed by the parents. We reserve the right to reduce or terminate contact, if it is felt to be in the best interest of the child. 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 court order.
What should I do if I cannot attend?
Please keep the Co-ordinator informed. Reasons for non-attendance are part of the attendance record. Let your partner know, if you can, or tell us in good time to pass on the information. You can ring the mobile or use e-mail at any reasonable time – see details below.
What should I do if I stop attending?
Please let us know so that we can give the place to someone on the waiting list.