Children's Contact Visits
Once our families have successfully navigated their way through the intake process, contact visits can commence.
By this time, our Service Manager, supported by our Senior Contact Workers has given consideration to the location, separate meeting points, age of the child/ren and other individual requirements each family has in order to provide safe, child-focused contact visit.
Children's Contact Visits
Children's contact visits start at two pre-organised meeting points - one for each parent - the Lives with Parent (LWP) and the Spends Time With Parent (STWP). For added security, arrival times are staggered to avoid parents being face-to face.
Contact Workers remain close, within hearing range, and observe every interaction throughout the visit. Contact Workers are discreet and unobtrusive throughout the visit - unless required - to ensure a safe, child-focused experience.
At the end of the visit, a hand-back is facilitated by the Contact Worker. Departure times for both parents are staggered to avoid confrontation.
Online Contact Visits
Throughout the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, Holding Hands Family Services was the first children's contact service to offer online visits during the lockdown period.
Our service continues to offer this option as a convenience to parents who are ill, travelling or unable to attend a contact visits due to inclement weather (where a wet-weather alternative has been deemed inappropriate).
Similar to contact visits, online visits have staggered connection times and other safety protocols to ensure a secure and child-focused session whilst ensuring that there is no (or in some cases minimal) contact between parents.
Parents are provided with a visit report in the days following each visit. These reports contain observations of the particulars of each visit from the handover process through to interactions between the child and the visiting parent.
Importantly, reports focus on the positives of each visit including any highlights as well as drawing attention to any concerns or parenting issues that may arise during the visit.
Supervised Changeovers are often the natural progression on the path to self-managed contact arrangements.
Facilitated by a Contact Worker, parents are provided with separate meetings points and staggered arrival and departure time to minimise the risks of conflict. The contact then proceeds unsupervised. Handbacks, also facilitated by a Contact Worker, reduce the risk of conflict in the child's presence at the conclusion of the contact.
Families who have not progressed from our Contact Visit service must initially participate in our intake process to assess suitability and requirements.
Post Separation Support
Parenting has it challenges, post-separation parenting even more so. As parents navigate their way through separation, difficulties can arise with the potential to impact their child.
Continuing our child-focused approach to contact visits, Holding Hands offers parents short, one-on-one sessions with a post separation support specialist. These 30 minute sessions are based on a single area of concern and help to improve your experience during contact visits.
We encourage parents to contact our Service Manager for more information in relation to these programs.