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How do you arrange visitation through a contact centre?

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

How do you arrange visitation through a contact centre?

This article explains the step by step process of setting up contact with your child in a contact centre after all parties involved have decided this is the best course of action.

We have an article here which tells you everything about contact centres (what are they, How much they cost, who pays for them, who can decide to use a contact centre), but this article focuses on the actual process of booking a contact centre that’s right for you.

The process of arranging a visitation depends on the situation at hand and can vary from case to case. You should follow these steps to arrange and visitation through a contact centre.

Quick Summary:

  1. Find out which type of contact service you need

  2. Find your local centre

  3. The Application Process

  4. After the Submission of the Application, the centre co-ordinator decides if they can offer you a place

  5. Go for your pre-visit meeting

  6. Acceptance by the centre

Step 1: Find out which type of contact service you need

It is important for a parent or guardian to make sure that their child is safe while using the contact services and also determines which type of contact service one need.

To learn more you can have a look at the website of a contact centre to ensure they are right for you, and that they provide the services you need based on whatever your agreement for supervised or supported contact is

Apart from that one may also need specialist services such as indirect contact, escorted contact, supervised assessment etc. In case someone is looking for a safe place for the “handover” of the child while contact switches then a handover service will also be helpful

Step 2: Find your local centre

Try to find the details of the best local contact centre around. Highlight the contact centres most relevant to your needs and note down their addresses.

It is advisable to contact the nearest contact centre in the town.

Step 3: The Application Process

You can self-apply to go to a contact centre, which is known as a self-referral.

Important to decide if one needs to self refer or need advice of a solicitors or family mediator or CAFCASS officer who can make a referral on one's behalf.

If you wish to self-refer yourself to a contact centre, you must take into consideration the following:

1. Whether the local contact centre is accepting self-referrals and if one can apply directly or must apply via the NACCC’s Safe Referral System. This is a website that helps to parents apply for a child contact centre.

2. Accordingly, one can make the application to the centre

3. In case the local centres do not accept self-referrals then one must be referred by solicitors, family support workers, mediators or CAFCASS etc.

Step 4: After the Submission of the Application, the centre co-ordinator decides if they can offer you a place

In some of the cases, there may be a delay while arranging a place at the centre while the centre co-ordinator conducts a risk assessment. The contact centre may also contact the applicant to enquire further about the current situation.

They will accordingly make the decision on whether to accept or reject your application. If they reject your application they may offer alternative services in order to work around the situation.

Step 5: Go for your pre-visit meeting

Once the referral is accepted by the contact centre, the centre co-ordinator will invite the applicant and the child to attend the centre for a meeting. Here the applicant can explore the centre and discuss the situation in order to fully understand what the contact centre is offering. This is called pre-visit.

If the applicant is not living with the child, their visit will be at a separate time to the child's visit.

Step 6: Acceptance by the centre

The centre co-ordinator will then contact the applicant and any other involved parties to let them know if they will be offering their services and a start date and time


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