supervised vs. supported contact
Contact centres come in two flavours: supported centres and supervised centres. The names are unfortunate since the two types of centres are very different and cater to very different needs. Our contact centre offers supported contact only.
Supported contact is suitable for families where no significant risk to the child, or those around the child, has been identified. It typically takes place in a neutral community venue with several families at once. Volunteers provide a safe venue with toys, but do not monitor contact (no reports are made) and do not get involved. This is a short-term arrangement: families are encouraged to develop mutual trust and make more appropriate long-term arrangements (e.g. use a family venue).
Supervised contact is used for families where a child or adult has suffered harm or is at risk of suffering harm during contact. Supervised contact aims to ensure physical safety and emotional well-being of a child and adults. The venue provides privacy for each family. Trained staff and volunteers provide individual supervision of contact and will intervene if necessary. Conversations are monitored. Full reporting procedures are in place.
Note that in our centre:
No-one monitors conversations between non-resident parents and children
Non-resident parents can take children to the bathrooms on their own
There is no monitoring inside bathrooms
Volunteers have a basic level of training and provide a basic level of safeguarding only
The assumption is that children are safe in the care of the non-resident parent
Please also see our rules
If any of these make you uneasy, it's probably a sign that supervised contact might be more appropriate for your family.