Child Focused Contact Visits in Newcastle and the Hunter Region
Children's 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 Newcastle 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
Introducing Our Newcastle Management Team
Day-to-day operations of our Service is managed by our Service Manager, Jakki Schwartz. Jakki has over 10 years experience in children's contact services and over 15 years experience in the Social Work Sector.
Client Services Co-ordinator
Having started as a Contact Worker, Clare now holds the position of Client Services Co-ordinator - a role for which she is uniquely suited. Clare represents Holding Hands to various stakeholders in the Family Law and Welfare sectors.
Senior Contact Worker
Lauren is our Senior Contact Worker for the Newcastle and Central Coast areas after achieving some great outcomes with families in the area as a Contact Worker
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.
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 to make necessary modifications to contact arrangement to ensure the ongoing safety of our families during this pandemic.
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.
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 Post-Separation Specialists support parents with practical guidance, parenting skills and techniques to navigate the complexities of life after separation.
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.