Rules and Policies
Referrals and Pre-Visits
We only require 1 referral, from either party or solicitor, there is a one off referral fee. Should the other party wish to provide a referral and additional referral fee will be required. The referral is used to get a basic overview of contact required and details about the family. Information from the referral will be shared with both parties during the pre-visit stage, THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE CONFIDENTIAL CONTACT DETAILS. After the referral is received you will be contacted by the referrals team who will go through everything with all parties in details. You will be required to complete a pre-visit, you will need to come to Head Office to do this face to face and sign paperwork. If it is absolutely impossible for you to attend the Head Office to do this in person we can do the pre-visit over the phone but you'll be required to view the pre-visit over email and send email confirmation of acceptance of the pre-visit and the rules before you can attend contact.
If we deem the child attending contact to be of appropriate age then they will be required to complete a children's pre-visit too. All pre-visits are confidential and no information given will be passed on without consent.
Should you leave the centre for any length of time, or have a gap in contact, you will be required to do a new referral. This is not applicable for families who have quarterly or 6 monthly contact.
Booking in Contacts
When you first come to the contact centre your referral states the frequency of contact, we will automatically book your contact in on the day that contact falls on, at the regularity requested. We will continue to book these contacts in until we are told otherwise, these are chargeable contacts and should you cancel them under 48 hours you will incur the fee. With notice you can move your contact to a different week, day or time (subject to availability and with consent from the other party).
Type of Contact
If your contact is court ordered we have no control over the type of contact used at the centre, whether that be Supervised, Supported or Handovers. Contact should already be set up and all agreements should be in place prior to using to the centre. If you have a court order relating to contact this is what will be adhered to and anything not mentioned in the order (for example taking photos, videos, going out, gifts) will need to be agreed by both parties or they will not be allowed to take place. Any queries regarding contact will be referred to the solicitors and Little Angels will have no involvement. We do not assess contact, voice opinions or make judgements as we are an impartial agent.
If your contact is not court ordered then progressing will need to be discussed and agreed by both parties.
If you have a contact on a Saturday or Sunday
then it is likely that you will receive a call on the Thursday or Friday to
confirm your contact. This is a courtesy call only and is not guaranteed. You
are responsible for your own contact should know when it takes place and are
responsible for making sure you attend on the correct day at the correct time. Bookings are provisional if booked by ourselves, in order to have a slot available for you on your specified day and frequency. Bookings are subject to time change by ourselves if/when necessary.
We advise you ring the head office prior to contact to get confirmation.
If contact is court ordered then it must take place unless good reason is provided. This policy is to prevent contacts being cancelled unduly and to ensure that any sessions missed are replaced. If contact is not court ordered then an agreement has been reached in regards to child contact therefore, it must take place to provide consistency. Cancellations will only be accepted with good reason provided and adequate evidence if necessary.
All contacts must take place unless good reason or adequate evidence is provided.
If contact is cancelled under 48 hours’ notice then the charge will be incurred. The person that cancels the contact is liable for the charge. If the resident parent/carer cancels during the 48 hour notice period they will be liable to make this payment, this is regardless of who usually pays for contact. All cancellation fees are subject to the managers discretion and you may be requested to provide a doctors letter if cancelling due to illness.
If the child is unwell we will accept a doctor’s note as long as it is relating to the date in question and in this case the fee would no longer apply.
If the resident parent/carer is unwell or has a problem travelling the child to contact it is their responsibility to make other arrangements to ensure the child/children get to contact. If they are unable to do this and contact cancels due to their illness or due to transport issues then the fee will apply.
If the person having contact is unwell, the same rules apply as the child being unwell. They will need to provide a doctor’s note, in which case the fee will not apply but if a doctor’s note is not provided the fee applies.
If multiple children attend contact and one is ill, then the others will be required to be made available. If the resident parent/carer is unable to do this then the fee will apply to the resident parent/ carer as alternative arrangements should be made.
The charge is expected to be paid prior to the next due session taking place in full.
If for any reason the incurred charge is not paid then no contact can be booked in until the fee is received in full.
Failing to receive payment by the next due appointment all parties will be informed and would expect payment to be received within 7 days. If payment is not received by this time then the file will be closed and archived. No bookings will be accepted and a new referral would be required if the contact is reinstated following Little Angels Contact Centre receiving the outstanding fee in full.
Making Up Cancelled Contact
If a contact is cancelled, for whatever reason,
a make-up contact must be offered. This policy is in place as the allocated contact
time given, particularly with contacts that are court ordered, must be adhered
to. If an agreement cannot be reached then it will be referred back to the solicitor.
If no solicitor is present then the parent must refer back to the Court.
Money Owed and Doctor's Notes
Supervised Contact: Reports are compiled during contact to ensure notes taken are accurate and are a true account on what took place during contact. We aim to send reports within 5 working days of contact, this is possible if the Supervisor sends direct however most Supervisors have to send reports to the Reports Administrator, they have 3-5 working days to do this. Reports are then used to update family files, they are converted to .pdf and sent to all parties. The Reports Administrator does not work on a Monday. If your contact takes place on the 1st of the month, for example and the Supervisor has to send to the report reader then you can expect your report to be with your solicitor/you around the 10th.
If you have a Solicitor reports will always be sent to them. This is a strict company policy that must be adhered to. If you have a query with your report or don’t agree with something that has been written please discuss this with your solicitor prior to contacting us. Once discussed with your solicitor please get them to contact us or you can email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy your solicitor in to the email.
If you do not have a solicitor then your report will be sent to your email address. These reports are then your responsibility so if you get a solicitor at a later date it is your responsibility to forward these to your solicitor. If you require us to send them to your solicitor there will be a £20 administration fee.
If you obtain a solicitor at a later date it is company policy that you inform us of this, this is to enable us to communicate with them and prepare for your case and avoid administration fees.
If you require your report printed there is a charge of £5 per report.
We will not send reports out via the post.
Supported Contact: No report is compiled for supported contact and we cannot take any notes of things that happened during the contact, even when we make regular checks. We will only keep an attendance record, unless there is a child protection issues in which case we will inform the appropriate party.
General Centre Rules
- All information we have such as contact details, address is confidential and will not be passed on to any other person. All information in this meeting is confidential and will not be passed to anybody else except in the case of any restrictions which we would need to pass on to the other party.
- All staff at the centre are impartial and do not take sides. All reports are factual and are not opinionated.
- Our principles are putting the child/ren’s safety and interests first, if at any time this is compromised then the supervisor will intervene and if necessary contact will be ended.
- During the time they are in contact the child/ren will be their parent/family members’ responsibility however, a member of staff is either present if supervised or on hand at all times if supported/handover and will help and assist if/when necessary.
- Our centre rules are clearly displayed in our centres, these must be adhered to at all times. They are also available on our website www.littleangelscontactcentre.co.uk
- Our safety procedures such as fire evacuation are clearly displayed around the centre’s and must be adhered to at all times.
- The use of the centre is time limited so if either party are late this means that the session could potentially be cut short as it may not be possible for a supervisor/room to be available for the outstanding time however, full payment will be taken prior to contact commencing as the room/supervisors are booked and were available at the agreed and correct times.
- If contact is cancelled under 48 hours’ notice then they will still incur a charge. If the resident parent/carer cancels during this period they may also be liable to make this payment. All cancellation fees are subject to the managers discretion and you may be requested to provide a doctors letter if cancelling due to illness.
- We do try to confirm your contact session with you the day before they are due out of courtesy but sometimes this is not possible and I would like to remind you that it is also your responsibility to organise and keep track of your contact sessions, if you do not hear from us prior your session and you are unsure if it is going to be going ahead then please call us on 01444 452514
- If there are any changes regarding your details, such as telephone numbers, email addresses or court orders etc then please notify us as soon as possible
- Some of our toilets are communal at Little Angels Contact Centre so if you would like to use our toilets or leave the waiting room at any point then please speak to a member of our office staff who will be able to assist you whilst you do this to ensure that you and the other party do not meet
- Payment must be made prior to contact taking place in full, if this is not done then we reserve the right to cancel the contact session and will not book any further sessions until the outstanding fee is received.
- The centre will not get involved in anything outside of contact and this includes the passing of personal items.
- A child can only be taken from the Centre during a visit if this is stated on the referral form, or with written consent of both parents.
- Relatives and friends can only attend if they are named on the referral form.
- Anyone under the influence of or carrying alcohol or drugs will not be allowed on the premises.
- There must be no arguing in front of any of the children. Abusive or aggressive behaviour and racist or other offensive remarks will not be tolerated. Any visitor acting in such a way will be asked to leave.
- Mobile phones are not to be used whilst contact is taking place so that full attention is given to the children.
- Video or still photography is only permitted with the permission of the resident parent and under the direction of the Coordinator or Team Leader, of your child only. Any video or still photography recorded at the Centre must not be uploaded or published to any social media website such as Facebook. No other child or adult may be photographed at the Centre at any time.
- Please advise us of any changes to your mobile number for emergency contact. An emergency contact number (mobile number) MUST be given to the centre and you must be contactable during the time your child is in contact.
- All contacts will be reviewed every six months unless stated otherwise. This will enable all parties to view what progress is being made.
- No smoking is permitted in or around the centre.
- Mobile phones should be switched off or put on to silent mode.
- Rooms are to be kept clean and tidy at all times.
- Any breakages must be reported to centre staff.
- No food is allowed unless given permission prior to contact.
- Please be considerate to other service users who may also be having contact in another room.
- Although the centre has a confidentiality policy if there is risk or harm to a child then this will be disclosed to the manager.