Before you come

You will be asked to come to the Centre for a pre-visit prior to the contact session to discuss arrangements. You will have had a letter telling you what time you're expected. You should also have received a Welcome brochure which contains important information and please contact us if you have any questions.

Remember that, for a child, coming into a new situation and also meeting a parent he or she may not have seen for some time is quite an event. Both parents need to give encouragement and support. With young children, agree beforehand who is going to bring nappies, a drink and other items.

Finally check that you know where the Centre is located.

When you arrive

Introduce yourself to the volunteers who will be waiting to welcome you at the entrance. They will want you to sign in and check that we have a contact number for you (which will be kept in a strictly confidential file). Your ex-partner will have been given another appointment time and there is a separate room where you can wait.

You will be introduced to our Co-ordinator for the pre-visit, who will discuss with you, in private, matters arising from your referral form e.g. whether you and your ex-partner are willing to meet and if there are any special arrangements. She will explain the rules of the Centre. You will then be shown round and told where you can wait until the contact begins. Once the contact begins, the resident parent can leave and return to collect the children at the end of the session or, alternatively, can stay in the building in the waiting room.

The contact session

We have a number of families in the Centre, so there has to be some sharing and taking turns of the toys and games. Unless it has been specifically agreed, the children cannot be taken out of the Centre, nor can anyone else come to the contact without prior agreement. There is plenty in the Centre for the children to do and they thoroughly enjoy their time with us. Refreshments are available

After the contact

Once the resident parent returns at the end of the session, both parents sign out in reception. If the parents do not want to meet, we transfer the child back to the resident parent and ask the contact parent to wait a few minutes. Please ensure that you check the date of the next contact session as you leave.