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From $25*

*Fees may apply for some services

From $25*
*Fees may apply for some services

If you are preparing yourself and your children for beginning visits at our Children's Contact Service we know this could be a challenging time with lot of emotions. Our aim, always, is make sure you and your family have a positive experience and feel supported during your time with us.

Below you will find some information about using our Children's Contact Service along with tips to help you prepare for your first visit. You will also find some helpful commonly asked questions in the section below. If you have any further questions don't hesitate to reach out to our client experience team.


Parent Intake

The parent intake is the initial appointment with one of our contact workers. Both parents or carers will need to complete separate intakes as it will help us determine if our service is the right option for you and if so, helps us understand your unique family circumstance so we can develop goals that align with your family’s needs.



Orientation is a chance for you and your children to learn more about Children's Contact Service, helping all to understand how and where the visits or change-overs will take place. All parents or carers are welcome to arrange an individual orientation with your child or children, giving everyone a chance to ask questions and share how you are feeling about it. We want to ensure you're all comfortable with the process.

You are more than welcome to visit the centre in person, meeting the contact workers and allowing the children to have a play in the space. If visits are online we can arrange to meet via video to show you how the online visits work including how to use the technology. If visits are in the community the orientation can also include exploring the locations for visits.


Tips to Help You Prepare

Preparing for your first visit can be daunting both for you and your children and is completely normal. To help the process go smoothly, we've put together a few tips to help you prepare:

  1. Confirm your attendance 1-2 days before your visit. Just like any other appointment there may be external circumstances that impact this so it is best to communicate any changes before the scheduled day as soon as possible.
  2. Speak to your children openly about the upcoming visit. Let them know it’s ok if they're feeling nervous and try to keep the conversation positive about the new situation. Allow them to express how they’re feeling and support them to become more comfortable managing their own emotions.
  3. Mindfulness and breathing exercises are great tools if you or your children are feeling nervous about the upcoming visit. Taking a few moments for a mindful exercise can assist both of you to feel calm and more at ease.
  4. Give yourself space to prepare and feel confident before the visit. Whether it’s exercising, speaking with a friend or counsellor, or something else that makes you feel good, you will be in a calmer and more confident headspace to better manage your emotions during this time.
  5. Prepare what to pack for your children ahead of time. It can be a good idea to include them in the process and help them feel more comfortable in the new environment. Ask them to help you identify what to take such as toys, food and drinks. Make sure you include the essentials such as sunscreen, nappies, hat and a change of clothes.
  6. Plan how you’re going to get there and leave enough time to get there before the visit starts. It’s a good idea to identify where you can park if driving - you can check more details on our locations page or with your local contact worker.
  7. Consider what you’ll do during the visit. For the visiting parent you may want to plan an activity to do with your children when you're there. Feel free to bring food to share or toys to play with. For the parent dropping the children off, consider how to use the free time - visit a friend, run errands, or take some time for yourself.

Supervised visits can go anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the needs of the child and the centre's availability. Some children cope best with shorter visits as they get used to the new setting so your contact worker will regularly check in with you and your child and adjust visit lengths and frequency as required.

A subpoena is a legal request to provide information for a court related matter. In cases where this is requested it is due to a need for further information that either has not or cannot otherwise be provided.

If you are involved in a case going through court and a subpoena has been requested about the visits or change-overs we are under legal obligation to provide documentation about this.

Documenting visits and change-overs taking place in our service is standard practice regardless of whether there is court involvement as it helps to ensure the safety of your child or children.

You can read more about subpoenas and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia here

If your family is involved in family law proceedings whilst using the service a Judge may request the appointment of an Independent Children's Lawyer (ICL) to your case. The ICL acts on behalf of the children in your family court matter, providing information for the case proceedings. If an ICL has been involved in your case, the Children's Contact Service coordinator may communicate with the ICL about how visits or changeovers are going. We only provide information based on our observation reports and case notes from the visits or change-overs.  

You can read more information about the ICL's role in family law proceedings here

Wait times for the Children's Contact Service are dependent on both availability for supervised visits or change-overs and the time taken to complete the intake and assessment process with each parent/carer.

If you have already made an intake appointment you would have been advised of any wait times. If you have not yet made an appointment please contact us so we can you discuss availability at your local centre. 

The cost of supervised visits are based on an hourly rate. The cost is $50 per hour, Monday - Saturday, and $60 per hour on Sundays. Typically the cost is split evenly between both parents/carers. Supervisied changes-overs are $5 per parent/carer.

Interrelate receives some funding to provide this service so our fees are at a reduced rate. If you have any concerns about the cost of the service please discuss this with your contact worker.

The Children's Contact Services is for families with children where one parent/carer or family member cannot see the child freely or easily due to separation, conflict, safety concerns or other circumstances. To use the service both parents/carers or family members will undertake an intake and an assessment with a contact worker separately. The intake allows us to understand your situation and determine if this service is the best approach for you and your family. If for whatever reason the service is not suitable, Interrelate can provide you with a letter for legal purposes outlining the reason and support you to explore other options that may be more suitable. 

The court order will usually specify that a child should have contact with their parent or significant adult who they are not currently living with using supervised service. In some cases, the court orders will request you contact Interrelate within a certain amount of time of receiving the orders. When you contact us, and have provided a copy of the court orders, an intake and assessment will be scheduled with a contact worker. Both parents will need to have an intake separately. Once both parents/ family members have had their intake, and your situation has been assessed and deemed appropriate, next steps will be taken to arrange supervised visits. 

Supervised visits, or contact visits, are when a child spends time with a parent, carer or family member who they do not live with under the supervision of trained children's contact workers. There will be one to two contact workers there during the visit to assist you to build a healthy relationship in the new environment and support you to work towards self-managed time together. As part of the supervision, the contact workers will observe and take notes to track progress and keep a diary of the time spent together. 

When using the service workers may document things such as:

  • conversation and interactions between parent and child 
  • relationship development 
  • behaviour towards the child 
  • arrivals and farewells 
  • engagement in activities/play 
  • creating safety for your child 
  • setting boundaries and limits 
  • meeting your child's needs 
  • responses to staff input and intervention (if applicable) 
  • gift giving 
  • photo taking 
  • debriefing with children and parents 
  • conversation and body language between parents (if applicable) 

The Children's Contact Centre rooms have resources, toys, and equipment to help facilitate interactions which can help children build relationships.  Some centers have kitchen facilities for the preparation of lunch and dinner. Please check during intake for a full list of amenities available. 

We want you and your family to have the best chance to strengthen your relationships and spend time together. How often visits take place will depend on your unique situation and needs for the service, as well as our availability to host the visit. Due to the large number of families who use our service we may not be able to immediately accommodate the exact number or frequency of visits desired or as outlined in the court orders but will aim to find a schedule that works for all people involved. 

Please be assured that your child is our main priority. Our contact workers carefully observe children and monitor their emotional and physical behaviour during contact visits and if you child becomes upset and the visiting family and/or contact workers are unable to calm them we will phone the parent or carer the child lives with. On this call you are more than welcome to suggest methods to help settle the child or we we may suggest the visit finishes early.

Yes, we often encourage the attendance of extra visitors especially those who would normally have contact with the child if supervision was not required.

The attendance of extra visitors will need to be pre-arranged with your contact worker prior to attending the visit so they can complete an intake appointment with us prior to the visit.

Usually it is the responsibility of the visiting parent to provide what is needed for the visit with their child such as food, drink, nappies and sunblock. We provide some toys and activities for the parent and child to engage with however the visiting parent is also welcome to bring along anything they would like to share or do with their child. Details on any allergies should also be provided to us in writing so the we can help  mitigate the risk of exposure for your child. If the visiting parent has not had much contact with the child it can be helpful for the parent the child lives with to provide a list of foods the child enjoys, nappy size etc., to help your child feel as comfortable as possible during the visit. If you have any questions or concerns about this please discuss with your contact worker.