Not many people often know what exactly a contact centre is, so this post is here to help explain what it is we do!
A contact centre is a safe place where children from separated families can meet up with their non-resident parents or other members of the family that they wouldn’t normally get to see. Usually, these meetups are described as contacts and are often described as things like Supported or Supervised Contact depending on the type of contact you have. Supervised Contact comes with a report from a support worker, who will also be there during the contact, whilst the non-resident talks and plays with the child. Supported Contact is similar however it means that a support worker will be present but won’t need to write a detailed supervised report.
Before the contact day, the non-resident parent will be invited to a ‘pre-visit at the centre, where they will be able to look around and meet our staff and ask any questions they may have. After that, the centre would then normally invite the child and their resident parent to do the same. The pre-visit is a real good opportunity for everyone involved to find out about how the centre will work with your family’s situation so that the staff can make sure that the service is going to be right for each family.
At The Starting Point Centre, we also have a range of different contacts tailored to each family’s situation. For example, Letterbox Contact, meaning that the child won’t meet or see the non-resident parent but will come in and open letters or gifts from the non-resident with a support worker. Here the child can then also write back to the non-resident making sure their contact remains via our letterbox service and no personal details like addresses, emails & phone numbers are exchanged.
Our centre also offers Electronic Contact, this is a little bit like Letterbox Contact but here the child will be invited into the centre where they can video call their non-resident parent under the supervision of a support worker.
Escorted or Community Contact is a little bit like your normal Supported or Supervised Contact but out in the community with the support worker. Here the child and non-resident can do things like play in the park, museum or go to a restaurant!
The Starting Point Centre we make contact as simple, safe, and fun as possible, we know that meeting someone you haven’t met in a long time can seem a little scary, so we make sure it is very safe and comfortable for everyone who comes to visit.
For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org