Portland Child Contact Centre uses The Hub Church on Saturday mornings and has sole use of the building during the session. The Hub is situated right in the town centre with ample parking and public transport available nearby. There is a main church hall which is decorated in a modern and informal manner. There are smaller rooms to the rear of the hall which can be used as waiting rooms for parents. The main hall can accommodate up to five families at a time for contact.
The building has a front entrance and a rear entrance, enabling resident and non-resident parents to enter separately and avoid potential conflict. There is a third entrance from the front directly into the hall which provides disabled access. A reception desk is set up inside the main front door.
There are separate male, female and disabled access toilets situated around the building, and these were seen to be modern and clean. There is a coffee bar in the main hall and a separate small kitchen at the rear of the building. [At the time of the reaccreditation visit, due to the pandemic, no food or drinks were prepared on the premises during contact sessions, and therefore these facilities were not being used by the contact service]. There are ample cafes within short walking distance that parents can access or bring their own pre-prepared food.
The Centre provides a welcoming and neutral venue for children whose parents have separated to spend quality time with their non-resident parent in a child-centred environment. They provide safe handovers and supported contact, where visiting parents can spend time with their children on a regular basis until other arrangements are agreed. The Centre is not able to facilitate supervised contact.
The Portland Child Contact Centre is a friendly and caring service that takes its role in supporting families seriously. It has been established for 21 years and makes good use of its NACCC membership to inform practice. The temporary shutdown due to Covid-19 provided an opportunity to take stock of things and implement changes that will enhance the service provided for families in the future.