Frome Child Contact Centre is managed by the Diocese of Bath and Wells – a Mothers’ Union organisation and operates from a welcoming, well-maintained church building which is set up for contact really well. Prior to Covid19 this supported centre was running from a different venue but moved to the Trinity Hall as a measure for preventing the spread of Covid. This was because the previous venue was also a nursery and they wanted to restrict the use of their venue to outside agencies. Frome has a train station and bus services and at the time of the report, non-resident parents were travelling from Sussex, Glastonbury and Street.
There is a large accessible car park at the front of the building which both resident and non-resident parents use, however there are separate exits/entrances for the non-resident and resident parent to minimise contact. There are steps and a ramp to the front of the building and therefore access is not an issue. The contact room is bright, light and spacious with chairs and tables which are set up by the volunteers according to the number of families accessing the centre on that day. At the time of the report, windows were kept open according to Covid19 guidance. Just off from this room there are double doors with windows, which take you through to the waiting area for the resident parent. The waiting area is light, spacious and very welcoming, with a screen that can be pulled across the doors to limit parents seeing each other if this is a concern. The bathrooms are clean, well maintained and accessible to all, with a disabled toilet and baby change. There is no outside area at this centre.
At the time of the report the non-resident parents were bringing their own toys and activities to the centre for their children due to Covid restrictions, however the centre does have a cupboard of toys which they are able to use. Children are invited to look around the centre to help prepare them for their first contact session.
The coordinator and the volunteers are friendly and welcoming and ensure that they have enough information to be able to do their job safely. At the time of the report the co-ordinator had been running the centre on a voluntary basis for four years supporting the volunteer team – some having volunteered for over ten years.
This is an excellent supported centre, run by a lovely group of people experienced in the area of supporting families. The assessor was able to watch a contact session which ran smoothly, and the child and parents were happy with the service they received. The centre meets the standards for supported contact accreditation.