What we do
The Cheltenham Child Contact Centre is a safe, neutral place where a child can enjoy uninterrupted contact with the parent seeking contact.
The Centre opens for supported contact every other Saturday afternoon, 1-3 pm. Parents are usually offered 10-12 sessions at the Centre. These are fortnightly and therefore cover a period of 4 to 5 months. Parents do not need to meet. The Centre can be involved in handovers between parents at the centre. These handovers are charged at £10 per family, per day.
Where parents don’t want to meet, a member of staff takes the child from one parent to the other. The Cheltenham Centre is a breathing space but it also offers all parents a stepping stone to sort out contact arrangements away from the centre. The Centre is run by trained staff and volunteers who are impartial and do not get involved in disputes between parents. They work to a confidentiality policy and are DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked.
During supported contact only, the Centre keeps a note of the dates and times families attend and no other notes of a family’s use of the centre are kept. If there is a safeguarding concern then this is actioned through the appropriate authorities.
The Centre has three large rooms with a variety of games, toys, books and craft activities for children of all ages. Drinks are available but the centre does not provide food. Supervised contact takes place in one room but during supported contact, the whole building is available to be used.
There is ample car parking at the Centre and it is also on a bus route.
Referrals for Contact
[This is the website of the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) who deal with referrals made to the Centre on our behalf]
We currently have an approx. 6-week waiting list for supervised contact on Saturdays.
To make a referral please complete the form below. Completion of these forms and pre-visits must be completed by both parents before contact can begin. A risk assessment will be carried out once the referral forms have been received and you will be contacted to arrange pre-visits.
Contact Supervisors will be in the room with you, observing these sessions. These will be recorded on either a laptop or handwritten.
This takes place during Supported Contact hours (Saturday 1.00-3.00). This is a service available for families needing extra support to make the transition between Supervised and Supported Contact. A worker will remain with the family throughout the supported contact session and be on hand to support. The worker will also be extra vigilant to keep an eye and ear open to any areas of risk identified through the supervised contact process. The number of sessions offered will be dependent on each individual circumstance and will be reviewed every 4 sessions. We anticipate most families will then move into supported contact, however, this gives us the option to put a contact back into Supervised Contact should the staff feel this is necessary. Sometimes a signed agreement by both parents addressing risks may be put in place for this to occur.
Costs involved in contact
Supported Contact: Charged at £10.00 per family, per hour.
Supervised Contact: £55 for the first hour and £45 for any subsequent hours taken on the same day. This needs paying before the contact session can take place. This includes a report written. If no report is needed, the costs remain the same.
Monitored Contact: £35 per hour.
Escorted Contact with report: Charged at the same rate as Supervised contact.
Escorted Contact, no report: £35 per hour.
Handovers: £10.00 per family per day. Card and cash payments are accepted.
Additional Information for Supervised and Support Contact
- Parents need to pre-visit the centre before any contact takes place.
- Parents do not need to meet. We ask the parent coming for contact to be at the Centre 15 minutes before the beginning of the session. The parent bringing the child needs to arrive promptly for the start of the session. On handovers we can also work to ensure parents do not meet.
- The safety and well-being of each child using the Centre is the responsibility of the parent. A parent must always be in attendance. The parent bringing the child stays at the Centre until the other parent arrives, although parents do not need to meet.
- A child can only be taken out of the Centre if that has been stated on the referral form and/or agreed by both parents and Centre staff.
- Contact is primarily for the child and the parent having contact. This can be complicated by other persons being present.
- Other relatives can only take part in the contact if named on the referral forms and agreed by both parents. We very rarely allow other relatives during supervised contact. Please discuss this with staff at pre visit.
- Where parents choose to meet, it is vital that there are no arguments in front of the children.
- No-one under the influence of or carrying alcohol/drugs will be admitted. Abusive, aggressive or offensive behaviour or remarks will not be tolerated.
- Photos taken by the parent at the centre must not be included anyone other than their own child or children. Photos must be taken in discussion with the team leader and discussed at the pre visit and are unlikely to be allowed during supervised contact.
- Anyone displaying violence, bad language, intimidation or aggression inside or directly outside on the contact centre will automatically lose their place at the centre.
- Aggressive and intimidating conduct towards staff will not be tolerated and may lead to a place being withdrawn.