Contact Centre Rules

Withington Contact Centre has a few rules that parents and families are expected to adhere to.  The term “Parent” below refers to the adults using the contact centre.  Most often this will be the birth parents but it could also be other family members, child minders or appointed guardians.

  1. Parents are responsible for bringing and collecting children from the Contact Centre.  They may appoint someone, (e.g. a child minder) if they do not wish to come themselves.

  2. Parents are responsible for the care, safety and supervision of their children at all times.  At least one Parent must remain with the child as long as the child is in the centre, even if Parents do not wish to meet.

  3. Volunteers will not “look after” a child for any length of time.  They will not take a child to the toilet unless the Parent asks for assistance and another volunteer is present.

  4. Parents should notify the centre in advance if they cannot attend a contact session.  It is the Parent's responsibility to inform the other party that contact will not take place that week.

  5. If Parents do not wish to meet, arrangements for staggered arrivals and departures will be made and parents should raise this during the pre-contact visit.  Issues likely to cause conflict or serious stress should also be raised during the pre-contact visit.  Parties will be responsible for adhering to any arrangements made – Contact Centre staff cannot enforce these agreements

  6. Parents must adhere to the instructions of the volunteers at all times.  Failure to do so may result in contact being suspended or cancelled. 

  7. Only people named on the referral form will be admitted to the contact centre.  If Parents wish to bring certain people not named on the form, they should raise this during the pre-contact visit.  Such people will only be allowed if both parties agree. 

  8. Parents must adhere to any arrangements that were agreed prior to contact starting (e.g. staggered arrivals and departures). Failure to do so may result in contact being cancelled. Contact centre volunteers cannot enforce these arrangements, and need to be informed if both Parents feel ready to meet face-to-face after starting contact.

  9. Parents must agree and must inform the centre before any 3rd parties may be involved in the contact, either physically (by being present at contact) or via phone, video or video conferencing.  If the centre notices non-resident Parents breaching this rule, it may need to cancel the contact.

  10. If Parents wish to take photos, they must ensure that the privacy of other families is respected at all times.  In particular, no member of another family must be in the photo.  Parents must tell a volunteer when they want to take a photo and the volunteer will assist if necessary.  Photos should not be placed on social media.

  11. Parents must not make movie recordings due to the risk of other adults and children ending up in the shot.

  12. Contact takes place in the contact room upstairs, not in the corridors.  Corridors are for access to stairs and bathrooms only.  We ask that Parents please not "play" with children in the corridors.

  13. Because the welfare of the child is paramount, there might be times when contact cannot take place if the child is too upset, even if there is a contact order.  In this case, volunteers will suggest that the session be stopped and that we try again on the next contact session.

  14. Volunteers will not pass messages,  money, letters or parcels between Parents.

  15. No responsibility is accepted for anything damaged in, or stolen from, the contact centre.

  16. Smoking, drugs and alcohol are not allowed on the premises.  If volunteers suspect a Parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will refuse that Parent entry to the  centre and cancel the contact session.

  17. Volunteers cannot accept responsibility for a child removed from the contact centre contrary to court orders or Parental wishes, though every effort is made to ensure that this does not happen.  If a child is removed, the police will be notified immediately.

  18. Several families will be using the contact centre at the same time.  If a conflict arises between Parents or accompanying family members, the parties are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civilised manner.  If the matter cannot be resolved, the Parents are advised to raise the matter with their respective referring agency (for example a solicitor).  Shouting and uncouth language will not be tolerated, and Parents may be asked to leave the centre.

  19. The Withington Contact Centre is accredited by the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) and has several policies in place.  Full information is given in the Policies and Procedures section of the website.  Complaints should be made to the Coordinator in writing, as detailed in the Complaints Procedure.


We ask Parents and families to abide by these rules at all times.

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© 2019 by Withington Methodist Church.