Securing Futures Child Contact Centre is in East Croydon, South London at the Salvation Army Citadel Church offering supervised and supported contact sessions. They facilitate handovers and family support services where individual support can be provided for children or for parents as well as to the family group. The centre facilitates private referrals as well from local authorities. There are plenty of local buses and a tram service that stop outside the centre or a 20-minute walk from the main line railway station. Free parking facilities are available for clients using the service. Among several other parks and open spaces around Croydon, there is an area of landscaped green space in the town centre called Queens Gardens; it is adjacent to the town hall and Clocktower art centre.
The service when in operation operates from a separate area that is attached to the main church. The centre has use of separate entrances, a large hall, three contact rooms, kitchen, waiting area and toilets facilities. During operation, no other service uses these facilities. The centre is over two floors and if required, Salvation Army staff are always on site as well as workers in the centre. The centre has facilities on the ground floor and can accommodate families where there are wheelchair users. The centre has adult toilets that meet the requirements for NACCC, including disabled toilet accessibility for disabled persons. All toilets are clearly signed and were clean with relevant handwashing, hand towels, hand sanitisers and toilet paper. All contact areas are in good decorative order, maintained to a high standard and there is a structured cleaning rota. On entry to the centre on the day of the assessment it stated clearly that all must wear face coverings on entry and when moving about the building. In the session the supervisor will wear a face covering but clients can remove theirs as long as social distancing is adhered to with supervisors. Throughout the building there are hand sanitisers along with cleaning products (stored in a secure cupboard) and hand sanitisers in each room.
There is a good variety of equipment for all ages of children during their contact sessions along with a secure and safe outdoor area. The majority of clients bring their own toys but can also use the centre toys that after use are cleaned and dated when cleaning has been completed. At the time of the report these toys will not be offered to another family until 72 hours. The co-ordinator ensures that workers are allocated to families with two named workers for consistency. The centre will provide, if required an interpreter for families but the charge will be met either by the client or referrer. All community sessions have an updated risk assessment completed and careful and discreet supervision is maintained by the contact workers. Workers do not use their vehicles for community contact sessions – children are either brought to the centre by the foster carer or the parent.
The centre has an easy-to-use website where referrers and clients can find out the necessary information about the different services the centre offers. Clients need to call the centre regarding costs for service. The centre’s website states clear information about operating operations. All families are clear about charges, opening hours, contact numbers, email address, location of premises, where contact sessions are held along with signed rules for service users. The centre has a map which states clear directions and local transport. There is clear information about the referral process and referral forms can be downloaded from the website.
The director/coordinator originally set up the centre in 2018. They are a qualified social worker and the team who assist in facilitating the contact service are social workers or equivalent. The centre is well resourced with a good team of sessional contact workers, equipment, along with good facilities to manage a supervised contact service for families in attendance. All the service’s activities rely heavily on income gained from funds raised from providing the contact service along with occasional voluntary sources and grants. The co-ordinator and their team had worked hard in providing the necessary documents for the assessor to view on the day for enhanced reaccreditation. The coordinator has appreciated the team’s hard work in getting the centre to a high standard and implementing changes that have benefitted all who work at the centre as well as the families. The centre meets the necessary standards for enhanced (supervised) re-accreditation.