What is Supervised Contact?
Supervised Contact refers to time shared between a child and a visiting parent, in the presence of an independent person, referred to as the Contact Supervisor.
Who might access Supervised Contact?
In many cases, the use of such services, are part of orders of the Federal Circuit or Family Law Court. Other families seek out Children’s Contact Services such as ours voluntarily.
Who might be included?
Participants may include parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family members or other persons who are significant to the child.
When might contact be supervised?
- In the case of an agreement, formal or informal, between the relevant parties; this includes agreements reached through family dispute resolution processes
- In the case of a court order, made by consent
- In the case of an order made following a determination by a Judge or Magistrate
- In the case of a need to assess family interactions, to assist with court processes
- In the case of significant safety concerns for the child, such as possible harm or abduction, requiring a high level of control and oversight of the parents or other participants in contact
- In the case of concerns relating to family (domestic) violence
- In the case of a breakdown in the parent-child relationship, which needs to be gradually rebuilt
What is the role of the Contact Supervisor?
- To supervise the contact visit within the expectations of the referral, including any special conditions requested by the caseworker, and to report observations to the referring agency
- To support the child-parent relationship and facilitate meaningful interactions between parents and children
- To take responsibility for the best interests of the child, and ensure that he or she is protected from any harm or distress
- To advocate on behalf of the child, and to make contact experiences safe, calm and positive
- To provide valuable guidance and support for the parent in rebuilding their relationship with the child
- To listen to the child’s needs and concerns, and address them wherever possible
- To maintain the safety and welfare of both child and parent
- To make appropriate referrals to external services, when needed
- To assist families progress toward self-management of contact arrangements
For how long is contact supervised?
When the court orders contact to be supervised, it is often intended as a temporary measure. Usually, there is an expectation that the parent-child relationship will be nurtured and re-built and that within time, supervision will no longer be necessary.
We acknowledge, while rare, sometimes there are situations where self-management is not a realistic goal but where the parent/child relationship is still viewed as beneficial for the child.
In these situations, we will continue to work with the family in accordance with advice and recommendations of any external professionals.
In most cases, Supervised Contact takes place at our Contact Centre. We are however able to offer Supervised Contact at other child friendly locations, off-site. Locations may include parks, cafés, or other recreation-type facilities.
If required, arrangements may be made for Supervised Contact to take place at child-friendly locations within Brisbane and its surrounding precincts.
The degree of risk and the level of supervision required are factors in choosing a between our centre-based facility, or in considering alternative venues.
In some cases, a neutral venue may be advised – that is, one which does not hold significant emotional meaning for any of the parties involved.
When identifying suitable venues, we keep in mind;
- the needs and best interests of the children
- the relationships between the child(ren) and family members
- physical safety issues
- the degree of risk
- the level of supervision required
Supervised Contact should always take place in a safe, child-appropriate space, chosen for its suitability for encouraging positive, distraction-free interactions.
Regions Outside Brisbane
Kindred Connect can provide Supervised Contact Services outside of Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. We have Contact Supervisors who reside in Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay and Cairns.