Child Focused Community Based
Contact Visits are often times a necessity in the early stages of separation that serves to provide both the court and families with confidence about children's safety.
Holding Hands Family Services offers its families community-based visits in familiar locations that provides a sense of normalcy during times of change in the child's life
Our service maintains a child-focused approach that minimises the opportunity to conflict. From seperate meeting points, the discretion of our trained Contact Workers monitoring each visit and our detailed visit report, Holding Hands Family Services provides a service that is #alwayschildfocused
Contact Visit Locations
Since we offer community based Contact Visits, our Contact Workers can undertake Contact Visits in many public locations across New South Wales including:
The Sydney Metropolitan Area
The Newcastle and Hunter Regions,
The Central Coast
Wollongong and Illawarra Regions
The Blue Mountains and surrounding regions.
Whilst our intake process is managed through our head office in Sydney, each region has its own appointed Senior Contact Worker.
This process allows parents living in different regions to have a consistency of quality in situations where visits are being held across multiple regions.
Our Intake Process
Our intake process begins when parents complete and submit their referral forms. From there, parents undertake a thorough Intake Assessment with a Senior Contact Worker who will assess the families suitability to use our service. The intake assessment will also highlight each families unique requirements.
The intake assessment is also used by the service to allocate an appropriate Contact Worker who will then meet your child for the first time at a Child Familiarisation Session. This session is at the heart of our #alwayschildfocused approach.
Start Your Journey with Our Free Podcast
#alwayschildfocused is a podcast developed for newly separated families being asked to consider contact visits. We understand its overwhelming so we have created this fantastic resource to help you on your journey.
What are Contact Visits and How Do They Work? Episode One is the place to start understanding Contact Visits? How are they organised? How are do they work? Our Service Manager Jakki answers all your questions here.
Why are Intake Assessments Important?: Episode Two introduces you to our two Senior Contact Workers who do the intake assessments. Lauren and Lisa explain how it all works and in the process introduce themselves to you. Listen to them here
Child Familiarisation Sessions: Our Service Manager Jakki and Contact Worker Kerry chat about child familiarisation sessions and why your child will benefit from a little one on one time with their allocated Contact Worker before their first visit. Listen to Episode Three here.
Meet Your Contact Worker: In this episode we got the whole contact team in the studio to introduce themselves and share a little about themselves - all while managing to have a laugh. Get introduced to your contact worker before you meet them! Have a listen here
Online Contact Visits: Due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, our Service has developed an Online Visit program that ensures the safety of all parties when face-to-face visits aren't possible. This episode brings in our most experienced Contact Workers who talk you through the process - and its more engaging than you might expect!!
Available to listen to here
Our Contact Visits
Our Service operates community based contact visits for families that successfully pass through our intake process. Community visits allow the visiting parent to spend time with their child in everyday locations.
Locations are assessed by our team as appropriate for contact visits based on the age of the child/ren and the suitability of the activities offered at that location. The service also considers the availability of separate, safe meeting points. The Service also provides families with an appropriate inclement weather location.
Contact Arrangements throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown in early to mid 2020, Holding Hands Family Services became the first children's contact service to offer online contact visits in order to provide consistency for children involved in contact arrangements.
Since the initial lockdown period, our management team continues to monitor government health alerts as well as identified clusters and make the necessary modifications to contact arrangement to ensure the ongoing safety of our families during this time.
Meet Our Team
Led by our Service Manager, Jakki Schwartz, our team of Contact Workers come from a range of social work and welfare backgrounds.
Contact Workers receive comprehensive training prior to being allocated their first family and participate in continuous training including regular training sessions with guest speakers from across the family law sector.
Our families also benefit from sessions with our Post Separation Support team who can provide clarity and confidence during their journey through contact arrangements.
Parent Support Program
We understand adjusting to changes after separation is a difficult and challenging time. Holding Hands is here to help provide ongoing support to assist parents to strengthen their relationship with their children after the change of separation.
Our Parent Support Specialists support parents with practical guidance, parenting skills and techniques to navigate the complexities of life after separation.