The primary function of our Family Contact Centres is to ensure the emotional, psychological, and physical safety of children.
Conversations between the non-residential parent and carer and the children are closely monitored by staff. If a conversation is taking a direction where the children appear uncomfortable, the staff will gently redirect the conversation, or suspend the contact session, if parents or carers fail to follow staff direction.
Physical interaction between non-residential parents or carers and the children is also closely monitored. Staff are informed of the basic family history and any specific issues that are relevant. Staff direct parents or carers and the children in age appropriate play and activities. Parent or carers are encouraged to plan activities for the children in advance.
Our Family Contact Centres offer off-site supervision to all eligible families. Off-site supervised contact sessions enable children to leave the Centre’s environs with their non-residential parent or carer, accompanied by a trained supervisor. Families can walk to the beach, river, local shopping precinct, or any facility within a specified distance of each Harmony House.
For safety reasons transportation in a car, taxi, bus or other mechanised forms of transport (including but not limited to bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards, etc.), are not allowed during off site supervision.
Eligibility can be determined by court ordered arrangements, agreements between both parties, or directed by the children. Families may be eligible for off-site supervision after participating in supervised contacts for a period of three months. Parents or carers will be issued a letter explaining what occurs during off-site supervisions, highlighting areas of common concern, and focusing on the positive benefits for the children.
Our Contact Centres ensure the smooth changeover of children between separated parents. Separate entrances and parking areas are provided for the residential parent or carer and non-residential parent or carer to avoid conflict during changeovers of children.
Staff will encourage parents to communicate with each other in a positive and effective manner with regards to their children’s needs through the use of a communication book. This encourages parents or carers to move from facilitated contact arrangements to self-managed contact as soon as practicable.
Changeovers and changebacks between parents and carers may commence at the successful completion of their intake sessions.