Glamorgan House Family Development Centre is a children’s contact centre which provides various services to vulnerable families. It is situated in Swansea, 40 miles from Cardiff, in Wales. This centre has been open for 10 years and has, in that time moved premises as more space was required to cater for the increasing need for contact services in the area. Access to the centre is good, with a train station only 15 minutes’ walk away and plenty of buses passing by. There is also a car park for visiting parents.
Glamorgan House is currently situated in an old Victorian house, which offers eight rooms for contact sessions, a waiting room, and a café. It has a light and attractive entrance leading to the contact and waiting rooms. There are two rooms which meet the needs of the ages of the children attending (0-3 years and 4 years and above) with the resources offered reflecting this. The contact rooms have space to sit and floor space for playing – at the time of the report non-resident parents had been bringing in toys/resources for their child but now that restrictions were easing the centre was also offering their toys and resources and ensuring that these are cleaned between contact sessions. There is a nappy changing mat in the contact room. One of the rooms is used as a dedicated contact room for parents/child with a disability. The bathrooms are clean and accessible with a disabled access toilet available. The on-site café can be used by non-resident parents and is a positive addition to the contact service and helps to offer children who are attending the centre an extra experience. Each room is equipped with firefighting equipment and signage for evacuation purposes. The kitchen/cafe area is clean, maintained and PAT Testing is carried out. CCTV is used within supervision sessions
Information for referrers and parents regarding making a referral is available on the website and there are separate leaflets explaining the services on offer and details of the centre. If the referral is appropriate for the centre, then parents are invited in (at separate times) for the pre-visit to enable the risk assessment to be carried out. Contracts between the centre and the parents are signed to ensure that all parties are clear of the services being offered and the conditions of the services being delivered. Information about contact sessions, such as the permitting of gifts, food, and drinks and whether photos and videos are allowed are discussed and agreed upon. Children are also offered a pre-visit before contact sessions commence to ensure their familiarity with the centre. The centre ensures that there are named workers for each case and continuity is maintained.
The centre has a diverse workforce and can cater to many different families due to the diverse range of languages that staff are able to speak in: Bengali, Russian, Spanish and French to name a few. The centre sees approximately 10 different languages using the service and this is reflected within the workforce. The centre will use a translation service if needed, but this is provided and paid for by the referring agency.
This is a well-used and busy centre, providing contact services to many families. Volunteers work on supported contact sessions and employed members of staff work on supervised contact sessions. They can meet the language needs of so many families that access the service in an in-house way. Health and safety standards are met. Safeguarding training is provided and all staff/volunteers are trained and know the process to take should a concern arise. The centre appears to work with local professionals and has good links with Cafcass. This is a good centre which continues to work in the best way that they can and meets the requirements for enhanced (supervised) re-accreditation.