Emotions can sometimes be running high. We do everything possible to make sure families and children get the most out of this precious time.
With relationship breakdowns or child protection issues there can be a lot for families to process and take on board. It’s important that families are involved in preparing for these sessions.
We have been fighting to keep families together for over 100 years. Our teams work hard to help parents be the best that they can be and to keep children safe.
Petra, the Child Contact Cenre Co-ordinator, closely with parents and professionals to make sure contact with children run as smoothly and positively as possible.
Some of these sessions will be supervised, for instance if there are child protection issues, other times families will get to spend time together alone in our specially adapted rooms.
What can parents expect?
Before they come to the centre Petra will talk with the families so they know what to expect and can show them around.
“It’s important that they know what they are agreeing to and that we understand their expectations too,” Petra explains.
“We create 'A working agreement' where parents can explain what they want or need.”
Why do people need to use our Jigsaw contact centres?
The reason that families come to use our centre are very different and can be very complex. At the heart of everything we do is the safety and well-being of the child.
Some of the parents using our centre will have had their children removed from their care by the courts but be able to have supervised weekly visits. Our teams are used to working with families who have been through these often traumatic experiences and be able to offer help and support in how they can reconnect positively with their children.
Others may be trying to build new relationships with babies or children that they haven’t seen after a relationship breakdown.
Sometimes it gives children the chance to build relationships with other relatives to like brothers and sisters or grandparents.
Why is Jigsaw contact centre special?
It can be an emotional time for everyone but in the right environment, with the right attitudes and support we have seen many relationships grow strong.
“Our rooms present a warm atmosphere. There are two, one aimed at babies and younger children with a playpen and the other has play stations and games suited to older children.
“Each situation, child and parent is so different, it’s important to approach everyone as an individual and with respect. Our team is very professional, but they are also friendly and approachable,” says Petra.
“If the contact has been arranged by the courts and needs to be recorded, our experienced staff will be in the room with families taking notes. During the sessions the person observing will always offer in the moment advice, if they feel it’s necessary for the safety of the child. We also offer honest and constructive feedback to parents at the end if they ask for it. The quality of our notes are also exceptional and reading them is just be like being in the room.”