We talk a lot about putting children first. Parents need to do it, the court needs to do it, and contact centres need to do it.
That’s why this week, we’re covering the main priorities of a contact centre to make sure the children are getting what they need: opportunities for meaningful contact with their parents and carers.
Children need routine. When their parents separate, they’ll be experiencing a big transition. The impact will differ from child to child, and will depend on the particular circumstances. But whatever the situation looks like, there’s no doubt the children will feel the disruption. What they need is a sense of routine to get familiar and comfortable with.
If the amount of contact they have with the non-resident parent has changed since the separation, for example, it’s important to establish a new routine quickly. Contact centres need to be reliable and consistent when working with families to make that happen. It’s no good if a parent is putting in the effort to stay on track if a contact centre isn’t available. Families need a contact centre they can trust, so that children can begin to trust their new routine. The quicker that happens, the quicker the children can adjust to their new normal.
A comfortable environment
Children are often apprehensive about contact centres. They’re dealing with unfamiliar territory as well as the separation of their parents, disruption, and a lack of control. That’s why it’s so important for contact centres to make a conscious effort to ensure they foster a safe, comfortable environment.
It’s never about doing the bare minimum. Contact centres need to feel safe, secure and judgement-free. They need to be a safe, supportive neutral ground for families to reconnect.
More than a box of toys in a corner
A big part of making contact centres work for children is providing plenty of activities. Things that offer children and their parents a chance to connect. A box of toys in the corner just doesn’t cut it. Every child is different and will enjoy different things. The bigger range you have, the more likely children will find something that they will enjoy doing and in turn, the more likely they are to relax.
This can often change the dynamic of contact in the most positive of ways. It’s our aim for children to associate our contact centre with fun, positive experiences.
Children at the centre
At Starting Point, we’re always striving to make our space as comfortable and positive as possible for children and their families. We know that families can be hesitant, especially if contact isn’t being arranged on their terms or in the way that they’d like.
We’re here to be the starting point. Of positive contact experiences. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services.