What is a Child Contact Centre?
A Child Contact Centre is a safe, friendly and neutral place where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents and sometimes other family members. They are child-centred environments that provide toys, games and facilities that reflect the diverse needs of children affected by family breakdown.
What qualities do you need to be a Child Contact Centre volunteer?
Volunteers in Child Contact Centres need to be impartial, caring, tolerant, sensitive, flexible, discreet and reliable. They must always put children’s needs first and not take sides with either parent or any other adults involved in the contact.
How much time will I need to give?
Salisbury Child Contact centre is open the first and third Saturday of every month. Our volunteers are normally organised into two teams and each team is on duty once a month from 10:15 – 13:30. New volunteers join a team and are given training either in advance of, or shortly after they have started working in the centre. All volunteers receive ongoing support from their team leaders and / or the Centre Co-ordinator.
What will you have to do?
A volunteer at a Child Contact Centre is primarily responsible for facilitating meaningful contact between a child or children and a non-resident parent, by:
· Helping to prepare the centre before children arrive.
· Welcoming families and showing them around.
· Supporting and listening to adults and children without judging, advising or taking sides.
· Making refreshments.
· Tidying up once the centre is closed.
It is also important for potential volunteers to know that they do not:
· Counsel families using the centre.
· Supervise the children – they remain the responsibility of their parents at all times.
· Get involved with the families away from the centre.