Children’s Contact Services aim to provide a safe and neutral environment for children to spend time with their parents or for a changeover to occur. There are three kinds of Children’s Contact Services:
These are independent centres funded by the government which will supervise a child’s time with a parent or facilitate changeover between parents. They are required to operate according to the Children’s Contact Services Guiding Principles Framework for Good Practice (2014).
Government contact centres have strict rules about how parents must act when using their service and can have long waiting lists, often two to three months, due to limited numbers of appropriate supervisors and the large areas they service.
These are independent centres that are not funded by the government. They will provide the same services as government-funded centres.
While private centres have shorter waiting lists, or sometimes no waiting lists, they are not regulated and are not required to operate according to the Children’s Contact Services Guiding Principles Framework for Good Practice (2014).
These are organisations which will provide a qualified individual to supervise time between a parent and child outside of a contact centre. For example, a supervisor may accompany a parent and child to a park or supervise time in someone’s home.
They are more expensive than contact centre supervision and only specific agencies, such as Phoenix Rising, are government accredited and operate according to supervision guidelines.