Please read through the following guildelines for Referrers of supported contact at Walton Child Contact Centre:
All correspondence should be sent to the Centre Coordinator:
The Centre Coordinator
Walton-on-Thames Child Contact Centre
St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church
Message Line: 01932 253920
Our Child Contact Centre is based in St Andrew's United Reformed Church Hall and opens every Saturday from 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm (except when Christmas day and New Year's day fall on a Saturday).
The basic elements of supported contact are:
• Staff and volunteers are available for assistance but there is no close observation, monitoring or evaluation of individual contacts/conversations
• Several families in the hall
• Encouragement for families to develop mutual trust and consider more satisfactory family venues
• Apart from attendance dates and times, no detailed report will be made to a referrer, CAFCASS, a party's solicitor or Court, unless there is a risk of harm to the child, parent or Centre worker
• An acknowledgement that it be viewed as a temporary arrangement to be reviewed after an agreed period of time
1. Please do not refer a client without contacting the Centre Coordinator first to check availability of space and time.
2. A completed referral form should be received by the Centre Coordinator at least one week in advance of the date that your client has their pre visit interview. If there is a waiting list, a completed referral form should still be submitted. The Centre Coordinator will then notify you when a place becomes available.
3. Only people named on the referral form will be allowed admittance to the Child Contact Centre. This may be varied by written agreement by both parties.
4. Parents are responsible for their children at all times whilst they are at the Child Contact Centre.
5. Please ensure that both parents have read and understood the Child Contact Centre's information leaflet in advance of contact starting.
6. To try and maintain a friendly, impartial and confidential environment, we would request that you do not at any time ask to see your clients on our premises without prior agreement.
7. Only dates and times of a family's attendance will be disclosed unless it is felt that anyone using the Centre or a volunteer or member of staff is at risk of harm. In the unlikely event of it becoming necessary to quote a Coordinator / Centre Manager in any report (due to a Centre user, volunteer or member of staff being considered to be at risk of harm) the form of words used should be checked and agreed with the person concerned beforehand.
8. Child Contact Centres providing Supported Contact will not knowingly accept a referral when somebody involved has been convicted of any offence relating to: a)physical or b) sexual abuse of any child,unless there are exceptional circumstances and they have sought appropriate professional advice. The Child Contact Centre reserves the right to reduce or terminate contact if it is considered to be in the best interest of the child.
9. Parents should be aware that – because the welfare of the child is paramount –there may be times when contact cannot take place if the child is considered to be too upset, even if there is a contact order.
10. Referrers should make arrangements for the provision of an interpreter where English is not the first language of the family involved and communication problems may thereby arise.
11. The Centre should be viewed as a temporary facility to help establish contact. You can expect to be asked for your assistance to review the family's
progress after six months.
12. Please notify the Centre Coordinator if the arrangements for contact are going to change or if contact is going to cease.
13. The Child Contact Centre reserves the right to terminate the use of the Centre where the behaviour of the parties is unacceptable.