Dealing with concerns about your children during contact
Last updated: 30/01/2020
Children benefit when their parents can agree on important issues in their lives.
You and your child’s other parent may not always agree on everything and may have different views on, for example, what your child eats, what other adults your child spends time with and when they go to bed. These are things you may have to learn to compromise on but if you have concerns over your child’s safety or health while with their other parent you should get advice. As a parent your first responsibility is to your child so if you believe they have been harmed, or may come to harm, while with their other parent you can stop them visiting. You can also contact your local social work department or the police for help. This is a serious situation and may require going to court so you should also seek advice from a solicitor.
If a court decides there are concerns over a child’s safety while with a parent, they may stop contact altogether or ask that visits take place in a contact centre.
Using a contact centre
Contact centres provide a neutral place for parents to either drop off children for contact outside the centre (a supported handover) or to remain at the centre itself (supported or supervised contact) without having to meet the other parent. Centre staff meet the children on arrival and bring them to meet you in an environment that is family friendly and well resourced. Your child can bring along their own toys and games. At the end of your contact, your child will again be taken by staff and safely handed over to the other parent or adult carer. This means that the child is not privy to any adult issues that may exist between the two parents and ensures that the time you have with your child is as enjoyable and carefree as possible.
Contact centres are designed to be a stepping stone to a more permanent arrangement for future contact. There are 44 contact centres in Scotland. There may be a charge for this service.
To find the contact centre nearest to you, contact:
- Relationships Scotland
0345 119 2020