Families Contact Services will be specialising in facilitating supervised quality time (contact), between children and their families in their local communities. They are a floating service (contact not linked to a specific building) managed by three qualified health and social workers with plenty of experience. The service will aim to provide supervised contact in London and surrounding areas. The Director and their team have spent some considerable time looking at facilities that can be used to facilitate contact services along with a comprehensive risk assessment plan to ensure that all buildings used are safe and appropriate. The service will be mainly available at the weekends, after school provision and occasionally during the week if contact supervisors are available.
The assessment took place via video call.
All premises that will be used for the floating service will be visited prior to sessions to ensure premises are safe, clean, well ventilated and appropriate with good emergency signage. Families will either bring their own toys to the relevant setting or the staff will check out the equipment at the setting chosen is clean and safe for the families to use prior to the session commencing. All team members will note where first aid boxes are located in various venues along with taking with them a portable first aid kit that can be used if required. The service will provide if required an interpreter for families, but the charge will be met either by family or referrer. The service will be working closely with the families to assess various venues to ensure disability access (if required) is appropriate and in case of an emergency where exits are located.
The service has an active website where referral forms, guidelines and necessary documents can be downloaded. Clients will need to email or call the service direct to find out the cost of contact sessions although all clients are informed on website there is a £50 charge for a referral to the service (price at the time of the visit). The service has in place a detailed contact plan which will be completed remotely with each client, signed with an electronic signature. A completed copy will then be sent to each client. All contact agreement/pre visit meetings will take place via video call remotely where families will be informed of the processes and services they will be getting and by whom. All forms state, clear responsibilities of the staff and other workers involved with the family. Families will be given feedback as to how the session went and if the child/ren’s needs and wishes are addressed.
At the time of the report the staff team at Families Contact Services will not be conducting home visits. The service’s main focus will be contact in the community. If the service later extends to home visits, risk assessments will be completed prior to any contact in the home environment. Children will be bought to the pre-arranged setting by the resident or the contact service if facilitating a contact session for the local borough. Additional charges will be added for escorting children. In other circumstances children will be brought to the venue chosen by their foster carer or use the allocated taxi firm registered with the local social services borough.
The staff team are a diverse group that reflects the local communities in the areas they will be operating the floating contact service. They have a wide variety of experience working in the social care environment with an extensive knowledge of child protection and safeguarding. They will specialise in supervised contact and have previous experience of facilitating contact supervision in challenging circumstances. The team have expertise to work with high-risk families and conflicting parental issues. A team member will always be available during the community contact sessions to assist with contacting families and emergency services if need be.
Any recommended actions following the visit are now complete meaning the service meets the standards for enhanced (supervised) accreditation.