A guideline for Family Law Courts and Childrens Contact Services
Children’s Contact Services aim to minimise a child’s exposure to conflict or unsafe situations.
They provide safe, neutral and child-focused venues for facilitated visits and changeovers to occur between children and their parents and other significant persons in the child’s life (for convenience in this guideline referred to as ‘parents’). They assist parents who are experiencing conflict to manage these arrangements.
Children’s Contact Services work with families to encourage positive interaction between children and their parents, and to support the strengthening of these relationships. Over time, and where possible, parents are encouraged to move to self-management of their arrangements for spending time with the child.
The Purpose of the Guideline
This guideline seeks to inform the referral process from the Family Law Courts to Children’s Contact Services, leading to more informed, appropriate referrals, thus optimising beneficial outcomes for children and for parents who are experiencing conflict with their post-separation parenting arrangements. The guideline also provides suggested mechanisms for dealing with the issues commonly arising during a family’s use of a Children’s Contact Service and which involve both the Family Law Courts and the Children’s Contact Service. Finally the guideline seeks to facilitate the Family Law Courts and Children’s Contact Services assisting families’ move to independent arrangements to maintain meaningful relationships between children and their parents.