Supervised contact can seem like a daunting prospect. Parents and children may feel out of control, under pressure from being observed, disappointed that the contact feels artificial. But it’s important to stay positive. Supervised contact can be a great way for children to reconnect with family, and for things to progress in a manageable way.
Here we’re taking a look at supervised contact: what’s involved, why it happens and how to make it productive, positive and meaningful.
What is supervised contact?
Supervised contact usually happens because the court has decided that this is the best thing for the children in the current circumstance. Contact between the child and parent or carer will take place at scheduled appointments, which will be supervised by trained professionals, in a safe, neutral environment.
Very often, supervised contact takes place at a contact centre, and reports will be written about how the contact sessions are going.
When might supervised contact be appropriate?
Usually, supervised contact will be ordered if the court feels that there is a risk to the child’s safety. For example, there may have been drug or alcohol dependency issues, or instances of neglect. It may also be ordered if there has been a long period of time without contact taking place, or if there is a risk of abduction.
How to make it work for you
Always prioritise contact appointments. Make sure you’re on time, and if you absolutely have to change plans, try to let people know well in advance. It helps to organise a contact calendar that everyone has access to. That way, you can ensure contact appointments are set for times that work for everyone.
Don’t schedule other appointments immediately after your contact time. It may result in you feeling distracted or rushed. Supervised contact can take some getting used to, so having some breathing space both before and after can really help you get used to things.
During contact, make your child the sole focus. Think about what your child might enjoy and find activities that you can both look forward to. This is a great way to get to know your child and bond with them.
Supervised contact is an opportunity to get to know and reconnect with your child. If you’re positive about it, your child will be more likely to respond in the same way. It can be helpful to carve out some ‘you time’ prior to the contact, so that you can prepare before the session. If you’re relaxed, your child will pick up on that energy, and the whole experience is much more likely to be positive.
Do your research. If the supervised contact is taking place in a contact centre, make sure you know all the rules and guidelines they have in place. This means that during the actual session, you can focus all your attention on having a positive contact experience with your child.
At Starting Point, we’re committed to making sure that families get the positive contact they need with their children. To find out more about our services, get in touch with us today.