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Child Contact Centres
Barnardos and One Family are working together to develop a new service called a Child Contact Centre, because we believe it is essential to the development of children that where possible they can grow up enjoying a positive relationship with both of their parents, even when they don’t live together.
What is a Child Contact Centre?
A Child Contact Centre is a safe, friendly and neutral place where children can spend time with the parent/s they do not live with. It is a child centred environment which allows the child to form or develop a relationship with the parent at their own pace and in their own way, usually through play and child centred activities.
Who are the Child Contact Centres for?
Child contact centres are for:
- Children whose parents are separated and who are unable to agree safe and appropriate arrangements for the child /children to have contact with the parent they do not live with.
- Children who are in the care of the Health Service Executive who need support to have contact with their parent(s).
- Child Contact Centres are time limited services so families need to engage with family supports so that they can move to self arranged contact over time.
The service requires the agreement and participation of both parents in discussing and agreeing what is best for their child / children. The service is designed to meet the needs of children, so their best interests will always be central to all decisions made.
Barnardos & One Family Child Contact Centre
The Barnardos & One Family Child Contact Centre is a new service that will operate on a two year pilot basis in three locations in Dublin: Ballymun, Clondalkin and Tallaght.
The service is available to children who live in the following areas:
1. Dublin North City, Health Service Executive area:
• Ballymun, Santry, North Inner City, Drumcondra, Whitehall, Donnycarney, Marino, Clontarf, East Wall, Cabra, Finglas, Blanchardstown, Mulhuddart, Corduff, Clonsilla, Castleknock.
2. South County Dublin:
• Tallaght, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Lucan, Rathcoole, Newcastle, Saggart, Templeogue and Rathfarnham.
It will provide the following services to children and families:
- Contact arrangements for children to have time with their parent(s). This service is provided by Barnardos:
- Supervised contact – where contact is supervised for one family at a time.
- Supported contact – where contact is provided for a number of families at the same time. This contact is supported by trained volunteers and a professional staff member.
- Handover contact – where an arrangement is agreed for one parent to bring their child to the contact centre to be collected by the other parent, without the parents needing to meet.
- A wide range of family support services to assist families attending the Child Contact Centre, designed to help them move on to self arranged contact in the future. This service is provided by One Family. It is essential that families engage in family supports so that they can move on to self arranged contact over time. Supports include:
- Work with parents individually and jointly
- Parenting Supports
How to make a Referral?
Anyone can make a referral to the service. If you wish to discuss a referral, you may contact Barnardos & One Family Child Contact Centre directly by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (01 4032085/89/80 on Tuesdays from 9.30am – 1pm) or letter.
To make a referral, it is vital that you fill out the referral form. See Referral Documents below. Parents can make a referral to the service. If you need assistance, you can contact us directly or ask a professional who is working with you such as your solicitor or your social worker to contact us on your behalf.
A child or a young person who wants to have contact with a parent can discuss this leaflet with one or both of their parents or with a trusted adult.
If you are unsure if the child lives in the catchment area for the service, we suggest that you check with us before you complete a referral form.
Self-referral form – for parents or anyone who wishes to refer a family member – click here
Referral Form for Professional or Agency Referrals – click here
Guidelines for Referrers – detailed service information for professional or agency referrals – click here
Supplementary Referral Information Form – this form should be filled in by anyone (professional, agency and self referrers) making a referral – click here
What happens when a Referral is made?
Families who are accepted into the service will be assessed so that we can agree:
- The type of contact most suitable for their needs
- The family supports needed to help the family move on to self arranged contact.
Referrals may also be made to other family support services.
We will work together with families to review their progress regularly and to ensure that their contact plan can be varied to meet their needs. This review will also help us to identify when the parents can move on to self arranged contact over time.
Families using the service will be invited to participate in an evaluation process. We value all feedback and suggestions as to how we can best develop this service.
If you think your family or a child you know could benefit from the Barnardos & One Family Child Contact Centre Service please get in touch:
Barnardos & One Family Child Contact Centre Service
One Family, 2 Lower Pembroke St, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 6629212 Email: email@example.com // www.onefamily.ie
For further information on Barnardos services:
Unit 10 Newlands Business Park, Newlands Cross, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Tel: 01 4032085/89/80 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org