Making a referral

Most families who come to the Centre are referred by a solicitor, a social worker from a Local Authority, a CAFCASS worker or directly from a Family Court by means of a court order.  But parents who feel that the Contact Centre may be useful to their family are very welcome to refer themselves directly to us.  

Please bear in mind that we hope parents who use the Centre will gradually make other arrangments for contact; usually families do not attend for more than a few months, but a few come for longer, and we impose no rigid rules about how long the Centre can be used. Some famiies attend weekly, others at lesser intervals; some simply use the Centre as a convenient and safe space to handover their children to the contact parent.  Some parents do not wish to meet each other, and the Centre can arrange for them to be kept apart when the children are brought to the Centre.

We are happy to consider all referrals and try to make arrangements to suit all families..  The referal process involves us gathering enough information (which we keep confidential) to know whether the Contact Centre can offer something useful to the family concerned - and the family finding out if we can offer what they want.  We usually start with a written referral (a brief initial email is fine to start the process), and then, if it seems likely that the referral is appropriate, we meet with both parents (usually separately) and the children concerned, to discuss contact with them, and to show them the Centre.  We ask professional referrers to provide a brief report setting out the information we require (as shown below).  Parents referring themselves may be less comfortable providing a written report, but if they make contact with us we can discuss their circumstances with them.

The information we need to know before deciding whether to accept a referral is:

We accept the great majority of referrals, but reserve the right to reject any if we feel that the Centre is not appropriate for the contact wanted.  

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want further information or clarification.