(07) 4638 0035
228 Ruthven St, Toowoomba QLD 4350

Centre Guidelines



Our Vision

The services provided by the TCCC are designed to reflect our vision of providing a service where all children feel valued as individuals and are able to develop and maintain supportive and nurturing relationships with their family. The vision includes a safe working environment for staff. Service will be withdrawn from clients who cannot, or will not, work with this Service to enable this vision. 


Guidelines for Changeover Arrangements

These services are offered by the Toowoomba Childrenís Contact Centre on the basis of the following conditions, to be observed by all parties involved. This Service cannot meet the needs of all parents and at times will decline cases if it is believed staff cannot provide an environment that is safe for children, parents and staff. 

  1. If either party has any concerns about contact issues please discuss these with a staff member during office hours. We will not discuss any concerns or issues in front of children.
  2. The primary client of the service is the child/ren.  Therefore staff do not Ďtake sidesí with either parent.  
  3. To avoid causing your children unnecessary anxiety or distress, both parents are expected to be at the Centre by the scheduled changeover time. If you are unable to attend a changeover or running late you are required to contact this Centre prior to the scheduled changeover time to discuss your circumstances. In the event that you do not notify this office (by the scheduled changeover time) that you are running late, the changeover may be cancelled.
  4. Parents are required to encourage and support children at contact time and work positively and cooperatively with staff to facilitate changeovers.  We understand that this can be very difficult at times however it is important to be aware that our notes reflect what occurs during this time. Parents may be asked to organise someone else to drop off children at contact time where staff determine that a parents behaviour impacts negatively on the children, staff or anyone else during the changeover time. 
  5. If access is subject to a Court Order/Agreement or any other written agreement, a copy of this is to be provided, as are copies of any domestic violence orders. Please be aware that we are not able to enforce court orders or give legal advice. 
  6. It is not appropriate to change arrangements or make demands of the other parent at the time of changeovers. Staff will not negotiate any changes at this time. Parents are required to return children to the Centre at the agreed, scheduled time unless a change has been agreed to by the other parent. In the event a parent advises staff that it is their intention to breach Orders or threaten not to return a child the Service will be immediately withdrawn, staff will refuse to do the changeover and the other parent will be advised of the circumstances of the withdrawal.
  7. Parents are requested to remember that this Service is provided for the benefit of children, yours and others. To avoid causing distress, under no circumstances are legal documents to be served on parents whilst on this premises. In the event that a parent organises this to occur the Service will be withdrawn. 
  8. Parents whose behaviour is threatening, intimidating or abusive to staff or any other person at our Centre, in person, by phone, or by written communication will have their service withdrawn. At this time your Legal Representative and your childís (if one has been appointed) will be advised of the circumstances of the withdrawal.

    Unacceptable behaviours include the following:

    Raised voices, swearing
    Consistent, inappropriate, heightened tone
    Body language implying potential for aggressive behaviour
    Unwillingness to accept reasonable direction

    Any occurrence of the above behaviours will be documented on file and may result in the service being withdrawn.
  9. Each client will be designated a car park area, entrance, and waiting area.  This area is to be used at all times. No changes to these areas are to be made without authorisation from staff in writing. Parents are required to immediately leave the Centre once changeovers have occurred and must not park in areas close to the Centre that can be observed by either the other parent or staff.
  10. No contact is to be made between parents unless on each occasion both parties are willing.  A staff member will confirm with the other party as to his/her willingness to comply with a request for contact.  
  11. The Contact Centre reserves the right to refuse itís services to persons who are:

    affected, or believed to be affected,  by alcohol or drugs
    displaying violent or threatening behaviour
    breaching centre guidelines
    or where the child/ren remain consistently and resolutely unwilling to participate, are being caused undue distress, or are thought to be at risk of harm. Harm is defined as anything that is classified by the Child Protection Act.    
  12. While at the Centre parents are responsible for overseeing their child/renís safety and must remain at the Centre until the other parent has arrived.
  13. Under no circumstances will staff allow unauthorised collection of children at changeovers. This Centre requires notification on each occasion if someone other than the parent/guardians is collecting the child/ren and will notify the other parent that this is to occur.   Please ensure that the other parent will not object to this as staff will not negotiate and are not able to override the wishes of the attending parent. 

I agree to abide by the guidelines of the TCCC and understand that this service may be withdrawn under any of the conditions outlined in the Withdrawal of Service Policy (provided to me in this interview) and that my legal representative and my childís (if one has been appointed) will be advised.  

I understand that staff at the TCCC supports the right of children to have contact with both parents. I understand that it is the role of the staff to assist parents with changeovers. It is the parentís role to prepare children for contact with the other parent and encourage contact.

  • Clients who do not access the Centre within 3 months of their intake interview or who cease to use the Centre for longer than 3 months must re-sign updated Guidelines prior to the Service being provided.
  • Clients who do not access the Centre within 6 months of their intake interview OR who cease to use the Service for longer than 6 months must complete another intake interview prior to commencement/ recommencement at the Centre. 

Confidentiality

While all information recorded on the Centreís file and all other information relating to the client and their children is kept confidential within the Centre, there exist limitations on client confidentiality.  It is important that all clients are aware of these limitations.

The specific limits to client confidentiality are:

  1. Where there is suspicion of child abuse.
  2. Where a client discloses their intent to harm themselves or someone else. In this case the person considered at risk of harm and the appropriate authorities will be notified.
  3. Parents whose behaviour is threatening, intimidating or abusive to staff or any other person at our Centre, in person, by phone, or by written communication will have their service withdrawn and the appropriate authorities will be advised.
  4. In the event that services are withdrawn, suspended or likely to be so, the following people, if appointed, will be advised:                                     a) Independent Children's Lawyer                                                                b) Separate Representative                                                                      c) Case Worker appointed by the Department of Communities                    d) Depending on the circumstances staff may also advise the legal           representative of either party.
  5. If a parent advises staff that it is their intention to breach Orders, the other parent will be advised as will the legal representative of the child if one has been appointed. 
  6. Where there is a court appointed legal representative of a child who is a client of the Centre. This may take the form of written or verbal information. 
  7. Where there is a Separate Representative or Case Worker appointed by the Department of Child Safety or other person appointed by the Department of Child Safety. This may take the form of written or verbal information. 
  8. Where a complaint is made, and access to a file may be file may be necessary, consent from the client will be sought to progress the complaint. Management committee members who have a conflict of interest will be excluded from this process. 

This is an irrevocable authority permitting the Centre to release information to any one or more of the above mentioned cases. 

 


Guidelines for Supervised Contact

These services are offered by the Toowoomba Childrenís Contact Centre on the basis of the following conditions, to be observed by all parties involved.This Service cannot meet the needs of all parents and at times will decline cases if it is believed staff cannot provide an environment that is safe for children, parents and staff. 

  1. The primary client of the service is the child/ren and these visits must be focussed on the children's interests at all times. 
  2. If access is subject to a court order/Agreement or any written agreement, a copy of this is to be provided, as are copies of any domestic violence orders. Please be aware we are not always able to meet Court Orders/ Agreements and that staff are not able to enforce court orders or give legal advice.
  3. Visit Cancellations: Parents are expected to make a commitment to attend at the scheduled times that were agreed to. Additionally where two consecutive visits are missed future bookings will be reviewed and may be cancelled. We are unable to guarantee bookings where families are unable to commit to attending on a regular basis.
  4. If a parent does not show up for a contact visit and does not cancel that visit, visits will be suspended until such time as the parent contacts the Centre to discuss the circumstances of their non attendance and confirms their commitment to attending future contact visits.
  5. Each client will be designated a car park area, entrance, and waiting area.  This area is to be used at all times. No changes to these areas are to be made without authorisation from staff in writing.
  6. To ensure that there is no contact between parents; parents are required to immediately leave the Centre once changeovers have occurred and must not park or drive in areas close to the Centre that can be observed by either the other parent or staff. Please be aware that due to the location of the playground, to ensure there is not contact between parents the residential parent is always allocated the Ruthven Street entrance.          If a parent is being picked up or dropped off by someone else they are also required to immediately leave the car park and return only at the end of the visit.  At NO time is anyone to remain in a car, parked in our car park or in the vicinity of the Centre where they can observe the visit. 
  7. The Contact Centre reserves the right to refuse services to persons who are:
    affected, or believed to be affected,  by alcohol or drugs
    displaying violent or threatening behaviour
    breaching centre guidelines or make unrealistic demands on staff or continually trying to involve staff in their negotiations with the other parent.
  8. Parents whose behaviour is threatening, intimidating or abusive to staff or any other person at our Centre, in person, by phone, or by written communication will have their service withdrawn. At this time your Legal Representative and your childís (if one has been appointed) will be advised of the circumstances of the withdrawal.  

    Unacceptable behaviours include the following:

    Raised voices, swearing
    Consistent, inappropriate, heightened tone
    Body language implying potential for aggressive behaviour
    Unwillingness to accept reasonable direction

    Every occurrence of the above behaviours will be documented on file and may result in the service being withdrawn.
  9. Parents are required to encourage and support children at contact time and work positively and cooperatively with staff to facilitate contact visits.  We understand that at times this may be very difficult however it is important to be aware that our notes reflect what occurs during this time as well as what occurs during the visit. A parent may be asked to organise someone else to drop off children at contact time where staff determine that a parents behaviour impacts negatively on the children or staff during the changeover time.
  10. Contact parents are to attend visits alone unless stated otherwise in a Court Order or mediation Agreement. Staff will not negotiate this on your behalf and if you want other people to attend contact visits you will need to seek legal advice.  If it is not in a Court Order or Agreement staff will NOT make this request on your behalf.  It is your responsibility to resolve this outside of the Centre.                                                If it is stated in a Court Order or mediated Agreement additional people attending remain subject to the discretion of the staff at all times and consent from the TCCC must be sought prior to anyone attending on each occasion.  If staff do not believe they can appropriately supervise visits with additional people attending the request will be declined. The following conditions apply:                                                                           a) the first two visits must be attended by the visiting parent only.            b)No more than two additional people can attend each visit.                      c) Additional people attending attend under the same conditions as the visiting parent and it is the parents responsibility to ensure their conduct is appropriate at all times while at the Centre.
  11. Staff will not administer medication to a child during a contact visit and under no circumstances are children to be given any medication or medical treatment during a contact visit by a visiting parent. Please note that if children or parents arrive at our Centre unwell the visit will be cancelled. 
  12. Laptop computers, portable DVD players, portable game machines and any other electronic devices are not permitted during contact visits. Parents are requested not to give children any of the above devices or their mobile phones to children to bring to a contact visit. The internet cannot be accessed during contact visits.
  13. Photographs:  Photographs are permitted at this Centre but only under the following conditions.
    All photographs taken at the Centre are to be supervised by the Family Support Worker supervising the visit.
    Children must be willing to have their photos taken.
    Under no circumstances are any other children, parents or staff attending the Centre to be included in any photographs.                                                                                                                                               If you have any concerns about photos being taken or how they may be used please discuss this with your legal representative. Staff cannot enforce requests unless they are included in a Court Order.
  14. Telephone calls: Telephone calls involving children are not permitted at any time during a contact visit.
  15. Recording equipment:  The use of video cameras or any other recording device including mobile phones is not permitted at this Centre.Staff do not consent to being recorded at any time. In the event that a parent records staff, children or anyone else at our Centre, visits will be cancelled.
  16. Dietary Restrictions Centre staff will only enforce dietary restrictions that are related to a medical condition and the residential parent must provide a doctorís certificate to the Centre to support any dietary restrictions of this nature. This certificate must outline what the medical condition is and what precautions need to be made to keep your child safe while at the Centre.
  17. All nappy changes are to be supervised.  If a child needs assistance at the toilet, it is agreed that a supervisor accompany the client and child. It is understood that this rule is in place for all clients, regardless of allegations made, to protect not only the children, but to protect visiting parents against allegations of misconduct whilst at the centre.
  18. Brief factual records will be kept of each visit, with dates, times, who attended and any incidents observed. These notes are intended for internal use only and are written on that basis. We do not write Court Reports, in the event that your Order suggests otherwise you will need to contact your solicitor for further advice.  Our notes are available by subpoena only unless requested by the Independent Children's Lawyer.
  19. Parents are requested to remember that this Service is provided for the benefit of children, yours and others. To avoid causing distress under no circumstances are legal documents to be served on parents whilst on this premises. In the event that a parent organises this to occur the Service will be withdrawn.
  20. Staff will be in close proximately to the parent and children being supervised at all times.  It is our intention that we be close enough to supervise conversations between parents and children. We appreciate that this may make parents feel uncomfortable at times; however staff are required to do this. Please note: for families attending for group supervision conversations will not be monitored. 
  21. The role of the staff is to oversee that the visits are pleasant and safe for the children. In order to do this it is important that all parties cooperate by:
    Speaking so that the supervisor can hear what is said (i.e. not whispering to the children).
    Not asking the children inappropriate questions about where they live or attend school or any details of the other parentís private life.
    Not saying or doing things which will confuse/upset the child/ren, such as
    1. putting the other parent down (or any other person)
    2. talking about court matters or where child/ren is going to live in the future, making promises which may not be able to be fulfilled, or pre-empting anticipated changes in contact arrangements
    3. using physical punishment as a means to manage behaviour.
    4. using contact time to discuss problems with Supervisors.
    5. initiating conversations that the child appears uncomfortable or unwilling to participate in.                                                                                                                                                                                 The role of the staff IS NOT to negotiate changes in contact arrangements between parents.  If asked, staff will decline to do this.