CACCC welcomes referrals from solicitors, social workers, and self-referrals where agreement can be reached between the parties.
The Referral Form and Guidance Notes can be downloaded (here) or the Co-ordinator can be contacted on 07899 792 948 throughout the week. A completed referral form should be sent back to the co-ordinator at the Coleraine Centre (see Contact Us page). Upon receipt of a referral, the co-ordinator will make telephone contact with each parent. A pre-visit interview will be set up with both parents separately before contact starts to ensure all arrangements work best for the children. Any issues relating to contact including health, allergies, length and frequency of contact , whether or not parents can meet are addressed and clear plans are put in palce prior to contact starting. Children of school age are encouraged to to visit the Centre before contact begins so they can see the building and reassured about the arrangements. Arrangements will be confirmed by letter.
The co-ordinator and volunteers will do all they can to make contact visits as easy as possible for the children.
The Child Contact Centre is to be used as temporary arrangement until it is possible to make alternative arrangements outside the Centre that will work well for the children. To this end, there will be regular reviews.
What to expect when you come to the Centre
You will be welcomed by a volunteer as you come in, who will register your attendance. You will be shown to the appointed room. The volunteer allocated to you will welcome you and listen to any issues to be resolved before contact begins eg a child has been sick the previous night.
The resident parent may bring the child to the contact parent, or a volunteer can do this once they have gained the child’s confidence where parents do not wish to meet. The resident parent may stay in the contact room, if agreed, until a child is settled. They may wait in a room upstairs until the end of the contact, or may leave the centre and come back before 12noon.
The Centre is child-friendly, with a variety of toys, games, creative play and computer games. The aim is that the child and the contact parent can enjoy quality time together. There is disability access in both Coleraine, and Ballycastle. The centre is open to any suggestions that would make it better for children and their parents.