Family contact service

Help on contacting your child, information about supervised contact, your role in it, where it will take place, the purpose of a contact officer and  get further information.

Who will help me have contact with my child when they are being looked after?

The family contact service provides a flexible 7 days a week service for children and families in maintaining contact when:

  • the child is looked after by the local authority. The local authority has a statutory duty to promote contact when it is within the best interest of the child
  • the child is on an interim care order as part of legal proceedings

The family contact service offers a flexible service to fit around families' day to day arrangements such as work, school etc.  Wherever possible contacts can be arranged when it is convenient for all parties involved.

What is supervised contact?

This is when a contact officer will supervise contact between a child and their parents, siblings or extended family members. The contact officer observes the interaction, play and communication between the child and family and this is recorded during or immediately following the contact session. Records of the contact sessions will be sent to your child's social worker and may be used to determine future arrangements for the child.

What do I need to know about my role in supervised contact?

  • It is important that the child maintains regular contact with their family where appropriate. The amount and frequency of contact is determined according to what is in the best interests of the child.
  • During the contact session, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of the child whilst playing with toys etc., and to clean up after them.
  • During the contact sessions children get thirsty and hungry - please try to bring refreshments with you for your child.
  • You are advised not to use mobile phones during the contact session. We will not allow the child being supervised to be given a mobile phone to talk to another family member etc.
  • The contact officer is informed by the social worker, who is allowed to attend the contact session. Please do not bring anyone else without prior arrangements.
  • Parents who have to travel to a venue to see their child(ren) and families may be able to recover travelling expenses form the child's social worker.
  • Where appropriate - supervised contacts may be activity based, child(ren) and families are encouraged to discuss these arrangements with the contact officer.

If you are unsure as to any of the above or require clarification, please get in touch with the contact manager. The contact details are further below.

Where will supervised contact take place?

We use various venues throughout the East Riding in order to reduce the amount of travelling time for children. Copies of maps are available to parents/families who travel to a venue. A request can be made to the family contact manager. For venues where toys etc are not available, parents are encouraged to bring toys and games with them. The contact officer will be able to provide toys and games if this is not possible. You can contact the service further below.

What is the purpose of the contact officer?

The principle purpose of the contact officer is to ensure the safety and well-being of any child involved in a supervised contact, and therefore contact may be suspended if:

  • parents/family members are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • parents/family members are abusive towards the child or contact officer
  • when parents/family members persistently do not attend contact or arrive more than 15 minutes late
  • when the child becomes distressed during a contact session and is unable to be comforted
  • the contact officer will explain the reason why they have suspended the contact. This will be recorded and the child care social worker will be informed as soon as possible. Parents/family members will be informed when the contact has been reinstated.

What is the family contact service statement of purpose and function?

The family contact service statement of purpose and function reflects the service as a whole, who its stakeholders are and what its mission is in terms of promoting safe, positive and purposeful contact. 

The family contact service statement of purpose and function (word 75kb opens in new window)