Helping children to keep in touch with family
We provide a Contact Service for children and families, offering support and supervision in a friendly and safe environment.
We assist in building and sustaining positive relationships between a child and his or her non-resident family and can help maintain contact through difficult circumstances.
The physical and emotional well-being of children is paramount and, for this reason, resident and contact adults do not have to meet each other in our Contact Centres.
Our Centres are centrally based in Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick and Kelso and operate on Saturdays.
Child contact centres help children and parents by providing a safe, neutral environment away from high-conflict situations so that children can see their parent who does not live with them or other family members, such as grandparents.
How do I get a referral?
Most referrals are made to us by courts and solicitors but we do accept self-referrals and referrals from other agencies. If you think that we can help you and want to refer yourself, please get in touch with us.
How long does referral take?
It depends. The length of the referral process depends on parental co-operation, the judicial process and the availability of a place at the centre. There is no set time for how long the process takes from the point at which you make initial arrangements to the contact taking place but usually we can offer you a first supported contact session within 4 weeks.
What age do children have to be to use a Centre?
There is no age limit at Child Contact Centres. While many children are younger, some young people at the age of 16 or over may have additional support needs and require the use of a safe venue. Child Contact Centres provide that place regardless of a child's age.
Four types of Contact provision are available:
Parents can sometimes find ‘handovers’ too stressful to cope with.
Children can be brought to a Contact Centre where a Contact Worker will take them from one parent to the other, without the need for the parents to meet each other.
This service is particularly useful in situations of parental conflict or where domestic abuse has been an issue.
Contact Workers help children and families to relax and gently encourage communication and play.
They are constantly present within the contact area but do not formally supervise the contact. However, they will intervene if they have concerns for the well-being or safety of a child.
Provided within a Supported Contact setting, a dedicated worker supports the contact between a child and a visiting adult, on a one-to-one basis.
The contact is not formally supervised but it can be useful in cases where a child or adult has additional support needs, or where a contact parent has little or no experience of young children.
This service is part of our family support work and is time limited.
On arrival, the child is handed over to a Contact Supervisor who will stay with the child at all times throughout contact.
The Contact Supervisor takes responsibility for observing the contact and ensuring the safety of those involved.
This service is particularly useful where there are issues around child protection, serious parental conflict, abduction fears or special issues relating to looked after children.
Reports can be provided to the Courts, Solicitors, Children’s Reporter and the Social Work Department.
Handover, Supported Contact and One-to-One -
Basic Contact Schedules detailing expected and actual arrival and departure times and whether contact took place, can be provided.
Supervised Contact -
Factual reports can be provided.
Please see our Fees and contributions page.