PEACE OF MIND Contact Services help children from separated families to establish or maintain a relationship with the parent or significant other* they do not live with, where appropriate.

PEACE OF MIND provides a neutral venue for safe transitions when family’s separate and the transfer of children from one parent to another is a problem. Where necessary, or as directed by a court order, PEACE OF MIND can also supervise the time children spend with a parent or other family members. The perceived need for use of a supervised child contact can vary. Sometimes it is because of violence or the threat of violence. Sometimes it is because a child is being reintroduced to a parent or family member when they have spent little or no time together. Sometimes it is because there is a dispute between parents that cannot be resolved without the matters in dispute being closely examined by the courts and others.

 [* The terms “parent” and significant other” are used interchangeably in this document. A “significant other” includes grandparents, stepparents and others who are a meaningful part of the child/ren’s life.]

PEACE OF MIND Standards are not intended to exclude or stop any service provision but to help ensure service accountability, set minimum standards of service delivery and support the provision of high quality service provided by well trained and professional staff members.  The well-being of the child is of paramount consideration after safety issues have been addressed,

particularly in deciding whether service will be provided and the manner in which it is provided.

DEFINITIONS OF WHO THE CHILD LIVES WITH AND WHO THE CHILD SPENDS TIME WITH:

The Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 introduced a range of changes to the Australian family law system and this has also resulted in changes to the terminology used previously.

A new concept of ‘equal shared parental responsibility’ emanated from the amendment which refers to parents making decisions together about the child but does not necessarily mean the child spends time with each parent equally.

The parent/person previously referred to as ‘the residential parent’ is now known as ‘the parent who the child lives with’. The parent/person previously referred to as the ’non-residential parent’ is now known as ‘the parent who the child spends time with’ and ‘the parent who the child communicates with’.

The parent who the child spends time with is the person who is collecting the child or visiting with the child at the CCS. The parent who is dropping the child off at PEACE OF MIND for these purposes is the parent the child lives with.

DEFINITION OF ‘CHILDREN’S CONTACT SERVICES'

For the purpose of these Standards, Children's Contact Services are services operated by PEACE OF MIND and abide by Standards. 

The Standards are not intended to exclude or stop any service provision but to help ensure service accountability, set minimum standards of service delivery and support the provision of high quality service provided by well trained and professional staff members.  The well-being of the child is of paramount consideration after safety issues have been addressed, particularly in deciding whether service will be provided and the manner in which it is provided.

PEACE OF MIND Contact Services help children from separated families to establish or maintain a relationship with the parent or significant other* they do not live with, where appropriate.

PEACE OF MIND provides a neutral venue for safe transitions when family’s separate and the transfer of children from one parent to another is a problem. Where necessary, or as directed by a court order, PEACE OF MIND can also supervise the time children spend with a parent or other family members.

The perceived need for use of a supervised child contact can vary. Sometimes it is because of violence or the threat of violence. Sometimes it is because a child is being reintroduced to a parent or family member when they have spent little or no time together. Sometimes it is because there is a dispute between parents that cannot be resolved without the matters in dispute being closely examined by the courts and others.

 

SERVICE NEUTRALITY  

As PEACE OF MIND must exercise objectivity and neutrality when providing its service.  It is not to take the side of either parent in performing its role.

The child is the “identified client”. The safety of all using the service and the well-being of the child are the primary considerations of the staff.

Neutrality is operationalised through:

o Respectful treatment of all participants

o Not taking sides with either parent

o Not advocating on behalf of one parent

o Providing copies of requested observational reports to both parents and/or their legal representatives, regardless of who requests them when subpoenaed  to the court

o The consistent application of well-developed service policies and procedures

o Staff training and regular staff supervision

o Acknowledging and avoiding conflict of interests

o Not providing recommendations or assessments unless they are provided by a duly qualified practitioner with the consent of the parents – otherwise only factual observation

o Having a setting and service that is accessible to all in terms of language, cultural and socio-economic status and is flexible where possible to providing an environment that is sensitive to the cultural and ethnic needs of the community

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Phone: 0421652253 Anne Knight

email: peaceomind@bigpond.com