Venue details

Address (not for correspondence):
Sparks Community Cafe, Queensway House, Queensway, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 0LW

Opening hours

Days & Times: By appointment only

Centre charges

£40 per hour

Services available here

Supported contact



Accreditation Summary

Date: 21/10/2021


Bubba’s Child Contact Centre is a new supported contact service provided by Walk the Walk Family Support Service Community Interest Company (WTW). WTW is a non-profit making organisation which was incorporated in 2006 as Hertfordshire Practical Parenting Programme and works with families with complex needs in their homes and in the community. The organisation benefits from highly qualified directors, non-executive directors and an advisory body including qualified practitioners from health, education, and social care. WTW employs a team of qualified and experienced family and childcare workers who are DBS checked to enhanced level and who have various areas of specialist knowledge. The main address for WTW in Cheshunt is office space only, and they make use of a range of community venues to provide their services.

The contact centre is using the Sparks Community Café and Hub in Hatfield as a base for the service in its initial stage of development. The café is situated in the centre of Hatfield town, close to shops, car parking, bus routes and train station with access to London and the North. The café is open to the community six days a week from 9am to 4pm and has a rear meeting room will be allocated for sole use by the contact service during contact sessions. The café offers sufficiently flexible space to allow safe arrival and departure of families through front and rear exits. The premises are well maintained and welcoming. The café area is attractive and comfortable, and it is intended that resident parents and children will be met in this area, whilst visiting parents will use the rear entrance where they will be met and taken into the contact room. This room will only be used to provide contact for one family at a time and has a range of chairs and tables that can be set up according to the family’s needs. Arrival times will be staggered, and the separate entrances will also facilitate supporting safe handovers.

Refreshments can be purchased in the café (which has 5* Food Hygiene Rating) or in local shops. The café has a single toilet for use by the public with disabled facilities. At the time of the visit this was newly fitted, well equipped and clean.

The contact centre co-ordinator has extensive experience of working with children and families, with expertise in domestic abuse. They have worked for WTW for two and a half years. With the support of the Office Manager, they will oversee all aspects of referrals, contact plans, risk assessments and reviews whilst the service is established and will make decisions about allocating work and line manage the contact workers. WTW also has a small number of volunteers who carry out roles such as befriender within the existing service.

The contact centre will offer pre-visits to resident parents and children, with a separate pre-visit for the non-resident parent. Where there is a court order in place, this will be used as the basis for planning the programme of contact in consultation with the parents. The contact service is not offering specific opening hours but is able to offer sessions flexibly whenever the premises are open. The intention is that the co-ordinator and allocated worker will both attend the pre-visits where possible. The pre-visit meetings include a discussion about the referral information and any risks or special requirements will be explored with each parent. They will be given a full explanation of what happens when they attend for contact. Any concerns they may have will be listened to and any necessary arrangements or restrictions discussed to ensure they feel safe and comfortable. Parents are then asked to sign a contract outlining the ground rules for attendance. Children will be invited in with the resident parent and will have an opportunity to talk to their allocated worker and see where they will meet their other parent for contact.

The premises that the service proposes to use will provide a safe venue for supported contact and handovers for a limited number of families. However, the service may quickly outgrow the facilities and need to look for larger or more flexible premises. Additionally, when thinking about how the service may grow, it is also clear that WTW has the expertise in their team suited to offering a supervised contact service. We discussed that this could be an area for development as the service becomes more established, and they could apply for Enhanced Accreditation from NACCC. Overall, my assessment is that Bubba’s Child Contact Centre will provide a service that is safe and child focused and the service meets the requirements of the NACCC National Standards for Supported Centres.

Photos from this centre

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