Interrelate's Children's Contact Service offers safe, neutral, flexible, and child-focused time for children and their families to spend time together. The aim of Interrelate Children's Contact Service is to support children to connect and build positive relationships with family members who they do not live with or are not connecting with outside our service.

Center visits

Preparation before visit

  • Speak to your child or children about the upcoming visit. Remember to keep conversation positive to assist your children to feel comfortable about the situation
  • Please confirm your attendance a day or two before your appointment.
  • We know starting visits can bring about all sort of emotions. Try to think about things that help you calm. For example, deep breathing, music, exercise.
  • Make sure you know where to go and plan and how to get there
  • Think about what time you need to arrive and what time you will need to leave home
  • If you are dropping children off for their visit, think about what you can do during the time time they are there. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it can help to keep busy
  • Make sure you know where to park your car
  • Plan and prepare what to take with you. Toys, foods, drinks, sunscreen, nappies, hat.

Click here for a short checklist to help prepare for your session 

 

It can be difficult to focus on your child's needs and to take care of yourself. However, if you are effectively taking care of yourself, then you are in a much better place to care for your child.

During the visit

During your visit, children can have a fun time playing and spending time with the person or people you do not live with or do not see very often. Our primary concern is the children. Our staff will observe their interactions and behaviour and as required, step in to assist and support them.

Where you feel safe to do so, staff encourage parents to support children in the exchange by bringing the children into the room where the visiting person/s are waiting. This can greatly reduce stress for children because they are most comfortable with people who are familiar in their lives. The Contact centre environment has resources, toys and equipment that are available for those using this space. Some children and parents like to bring toys or equipment to do a special activity together. An example of this is a scrapbook of drawings and photos of time they spend together.

The space has toilets, nappy change, and kitchen facilities. Some centres have cooking or BBQ equipment for the preparation of lunch and dinner,

Each centre is a little different, Please check with our staff if you have a specific enquiry about what is available.

Our Staff will record observations in a report. The information in the report is factual and contains details about what our staff see and hear. For example, we observe the play between adults and children, information about food, whether children's needs are being met, as well as observations about children's safety.

When the visit is coming to an end, our staff will let children and the visiting parent know it is time to start packing up and get to ready to say goodbye.