Tidal Family Support is a community based, non-profit child-focused organisation that works with everyone affected by family separation. The front of the building is clearly signposted with relevant information on the front door. There is parking at the front of the building and on the road leading to the building. The road is busy but safe enough for parking. The building is accessible to wheelchair users and there are grab handles if needed. There are clear signs about the expectations around no smoking and keeping safe with Covid guidelines. The centre is very well decorated and feels very child friendly.
There is a waiting room for resident parents and parents accessing services. The waiting room has a coffee machine which service users are able to use and there are items to buy, some of the profits of which goes back into the centre.
The centre is clean and tidy with health and safety monitored and maintained throughout. Babies, children and young teenagers are very well catered for and the rooms are set up to suit the ages of children. For example there is a room which is more appropriate for babies and toddlers, with baby equipment such as highchairs and baby toys. There is a room which caters for the needs of older children with a computer console and tv. There is a very wide range of toys and resources which are used and cleaned on a rotational basis between families.
Staff appear happy in their jobs and are well supported. The level of awareness and knowledge of safeguarding is excellent which helps to inform the services and shape risk assessments to ensure safe working practices. Tidal recognises the duty of care to staff and is committed to maintain safe working arrangements within and outside of the premises. There is a very clear plan of who will bring the child to the centre and who will collect, also who will be a part of the contact sessions. Home visits are risk assessed before a worker is permitted to attend a home. The family must have also visited the centre before the worker can attend.
Family files are well organised with a chronology kept on a database for ease of seeing where the family are up to in their sessions and includes a record of contact with professionals or parents. Within each family record there is evidence of how contact is planned, prepared, delivered and recorded. This is the same for supervised, supported, community contact or handovers. Workers follow the same process for each service of work. Contact is reviewed every 6 sessions of contact and the child’s best interests are kept at the heart of the work at all times.
The centre is fortunate enough to have a sensory room which is used for those children who may have experienced trauma which has led to the contact sessions or who may be finding the idea of contact too difficult. The co-ordinator is keen to ensure that the child’s best interests are kept at the heart of what the centre and the provision is all about. They work with parents attending the centre to make sure that children are happy, and their wellbeing is met. The co-ordinator is enthusiastic and evidently passionate about their job and what they can provide for the community.
I was very impressed with the centre and the provision of resources is exceptional. This is a centre which will go from strength to strength and continue to be at the heart of the community.