FAQs and Information Leaflet

The following frequently asked questions and answers will provide helpful information for parents wishing to attend the Centre.

If you would like any further information, please contact our coordinator on 07826 745627 or by e-mail at enquiries@wokingfamilycontactcentre.org.uk

How do I apply to use the Centre?

Parents may apply directly as “self referrals” or through Solicitors, Probation Officers,Social Workers or Court Welfare Workers, sometimes in response to arrangements directed by a Family Court.

The referral application forms can be downloaded from the Contact Us page of our website or obtained directly from our coordinator. After completed forms have been received and reviewed both parents will be invited to a separate “pre vist meeting” to learn how the centre operates and to go through the detail of the application. Each parent should bring photographic evidence of identity such as a passport or a driving licence or equivalent.We will make a copy of the photograph for our own records.

When will I hear whether the application is successful?

After both pre visit meetings have taken place,we will write to each parent to advise then whether we have a suitable vacancy for contact. We will also advise when contact may begin. It is now our practice to determine at this stage, how long contact may continue and when a meeting will be set up to review progress. Sometimes the Court will determine the permitted number of contact sessions. In all other cases we will require a progress review no later than three months from the date of first contact.

What facilities does the Centre provide?

Where there is no practical alternative, the Centre provides a neutral and safe venue for contact between a child and a visiting parent. The centre has a large sitting/play area equipped with a variety of toys and games for all ages.

Where does the contact Centre meet?

Woking Family Contact Centre is held at Woking United Reformed Church, White Rose Lane. The Church is located five minutes walk from Woking Railway and Bus Station. The Town centre is a seven minute walk away.

The Church has a car park which can be used by both resident and visiting families. Parking may at times be limited.

More information and a map showing where to find us is shown on the Location page of our website.

When is the Centre open and is there a charge?

The Centre is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays (but not the 5th Saturday) in the month. There is no charge, except for a small contribution towards the cost of drinks and biscuits. The centre is an unregistered charity and parents, if they so wish, may make a donation towards our running costs. The suggested donation is £10 per child at the first session.

More information is given on the Opening Times page of our website.

Can a visiting parent take a child out?

A child may not be taken out unless both parents have previously agreed to this in writing OR if the Court has directed the arrangement.

Do I have to meet my ex-partner?

No. There are separate clearly marked entrances for resident and visiting parents and we have a separate waiting lounge.

Can I bring my new partner?

In general, we have found that it is in the best interests of the child if your new partner does not accompany you to the Centre. Exceptions may be made at the Coordinator’s discretion, but then only if both parents have previously agreed to this in writing.

What if one or both parents cannot attend?

If you are unable to attend, please let the Coordinator know by telephoning or 07826 745627 between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm during the week between 9am and 2pm on the contact Saturday. Text messages are not forwarded to the session leaders so should not be used for messages.  Making that call is very important. Due to the heavy demand for places, contact will be terminated in cases where parents do not attend without notice on two occasions, whether or not consecutive.

Are there any rules?

We would prefer not to have rules. However, to ensure the safety and welfare of the children, as well as a quiet and welcoming setting, parents are asked to respect the following common sense rules when attending the Centre:

  1. Parents are responsible for the safety and supervision of their children.
  2. A child may not be left at the Centre without a parent in attendance.
  3. Parents leaving children at the Centre must provide a contact telephone number.
  4. Relatives and friends are welcome, but only if details are entered on the referral form or both parents have agreed in writing.
  5. Smoking is not permitted.
  6. Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be admitted.
  7. Mobile phones must be switched off during sessions.
  8. Photographs may not be taken unless the resident parent has given written permission. If granted, care must be taken to ensure that no other children are included in the photo.
  9. Video cameras are not permitted.
  10. Large toys as presents are not to be brought into the Centre unless both parents have agreed to give and receive prior to the day of contact.
  11. Visitors are expected to avoid arguments, abusive language and offensive remarks, whether to other parents, children or volunteers. Failure to cooperate in ensuring a quiet and unthreatening atmosphere will result in contact being discontinued.