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“Please let Tracey and Claire know their efforts were just so much more than adequate in helping me to create a harmonious experience for my son. If I could give you a review on Trip Advisor I’d give a 5* rating!”

Our services help children of separated parents to spend time with one or both parents in a relaxed, comfortable and safe environment. We encourage parents to listen to children’s views and focus on what they need. This can help families minimise feelings children may have of feeling torn between parents and dragged into conflict.

How it works

We offer typically six two-hour sessions of contact. We ask you and your child to come in and have a visit before your first session to get to know the centre and staff to make your first visit easier.

Contact usually takes place on alternate Saturdays or a weekday. It is usually centre-based or occasionally takes place in the community, such as parks, cafes or farms.

When contact is court-ordered it usually ends with a next steps meeting to plan future activity.

Who is the service for

Family Action run the service for families in Peterborough, Southend, Medway, Faversham, Leicester and Lincoln in partnership with Core Assets Children’s Services. We have been working in partnership with Cafcass to provide structured, safe and positive contact for families since 2011.

We offer supported contact and supervised contact including handovers so parents don’t have to see each other if they don’t want to.

  • Supported contact is for families where no significant risk has been found. No notes are taken and the families share a large room. It usually takes place on alternate Saturday mornings 10.00-12.00. (Peterborough only)
  • Supervised contact is usually court-ordered for children separated from a parent due to a dispute, a safeguarding issue or who have suffered harm or may be at risk of suffering harm. It helps promote a child’s physical safety and emotional well-being. It is arranged in discussion with both parents on a Saturday or a weekday. (All centres)
  • If contact takes place outside a centre we can help with a handover so that parents don’t need to meet. (Peterborough only)

Our contact services are measured against industry standards and are NACCC accredited.

How to access the service

When directly referred by Cafcass, there is no charge for court-ordered parents  to attend supervised contact.

For parents seeking supported contact we offer six sessions for £180 (Peterborough, Leicester and Lincoln only). This is usually payable in advance by the non-resident parent.

We also accept self referrals for all forms of contact. To apply, fill in a form here.

Get in touch

For any queries contact your local centre:

Peterborough, Lincoln and Leicester
Tracy Southwood, CCI coordinator
Telephone: 07827988656 or 07818530742 Email: tracy.southwood@family-action.org.uk

Southend and Medway
CCI coordinator
Telephone: 07976199920  Email: ccireferralsmedwayandsouthend@family-action.org.uk

Useful information

Getting It Right for Children Online course that helps separating parents put children first.

Take the course here.

https://click.clickrelationships.org/home/parenting-apart/

Contact services – a young person’s guide

Download your free guide here

The Separated Parents Information Programme  A one-off four hour course which helps parents understand separation from a child’s point of view and learn the fundamental principles of how to manage and reduce the impact of conflict on their children. Parents can refer themselves or are court-ordered to attend. You can find your local SPIP provider here.

Sorting out Separation An expert government-backed source of advice and online tools on a range of issues including financial and legal difficulties, parenting, health and housing. This can be found here.

The Parent Connection Run by the leading separation research charity One Plus One, this offers a free skills-based programme that complements the SPIP. It helps you work out what’s best for your children and manage conflict with your ex-partner. Cafcass advise parents to access the course before or after the programme.

There’s also a listening room where you can chat live online to trained mediators, a discussion forum and a list of local mediation organisations. Find it here.