Parenting needn’t end when a partnership does.
A Child Contact Centre is a safe, friendly and neutral place where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents, and sometimes other family members. It is an environment that puts the needs of the
We aim to create a warm, sociable atmosphere where you and your children can relax and enjoy yourselves. The centre is run by full trained volunteers or staff. They are impartial, so they do not take sides. They work to a strict confidentiality policy and have all been police-checked. How are visits arranged? Visits are by referral, which can be made by a social worker, solicitor, family mediator, CAFCASS officer or by a court order. It’s advisable to you, as the parent, and your child or children to come and see the centre before your first arranged visit. This will help you get to know the centre and its staff, and make your first visit easier.Because this is a special time for children to spend with the parent they no longer live with, we ask that new partners do not attend the centre. We also ask that disagreements are left out of the Child Contact Centre – remember that your child is hurting too.
Do I have to meet my ex-partner whenI go to the centre?
Not if you don’t want to. Parents are responsible for their children at all times while at the centre so you will have to wait with your child until your ex-partner arrives. However, the centre staff can deal with the handover of your child so you don’t need to meet your ex-partner. We have plenty of room, so you will be able to stay in the centre whilst your child is visiting with his/her other parent.
Does the centre make any reports about us?
A child contact centre is independent of the courts, social services or any statutory agency. We do not make verbal or written reports about visits, apart from the dates and times of attendance. There are exceptions – if we believe that a child, member of staff, volunteer or centre user is at risk of harm OR if the courts have asked us to report to them.
Parents may self-refer
You will be made aware of this before attending the centre.
We ask the following for the safety and consideration of everyone who uses the centre.
- Parents are responsible for the safety and supervision of their children at all times.
- You must provide a contact telephone number if leaving children at the centre for a planned visit.
- A child may only be taken from the centre during a visit if this is stated in the referral form or with written consent of both parents.
- Relatives or friends can only attend if they are named on the referral form.
- There must be no arguing in front of the children. Abusive, aggressive, racist or other offensive behaviour will not be tolerated.
- No smoking or pets. No photography, video filming or use of mobile phones unless the co-ordinator or team leader has given permission. Alcohol, drugs or anyone under the influence will not be allowed onto the premises.
Is there a charge?
As a charity, Relate Cornwall requires a donation for its services to clients but we do not aim to make a profit. Ask about charges when you contact us. You will need to pay for the visit before your appointment.