Case study: Time Together

How Time Together enabled Tom to re-establish contact with his daughter

Tom applied to the central family court in High Holborn for a child arrangement order so that he could rebuild his relationship with his daughter aged 3 years who lives with her mother and has complex needs.

Time Together received a referral received from the central family court, requesting 6 supervised one-hour contact sessions to assess Tom's parenting skills. Pre-visits set up separately for each parent within a week of receipt of referral.

Previous contact had broken down due to the mother stating she received emotional abuse from Tom and concerns over daughter being abducted from school.

Both parents felt more relaxed once they had visited the contact centre and had the rules and objectives of the contact explained to them, along with the child being able to see the facilities available, meet the contact supervisor and talk about what she enjoyed playing with.

Supervised contact sessions were scheduled at the same time on a fortnightly basis ensuring consistency of staff and continuity of contact. A staggered arrival and departure was set up so that parents did not meet and could be supported by the staff member who conducted their pre visit.

From the first contact session,the child appeared relaxed but chose to communicate to her father and supervisor by pointing to what she wanted. The child chose to be ‘mute’.

However with persuasion by both Tom and our supervisor,strategies were put in place so the child slowly started to speak to Tom using one word and by the end of the 6th contact session she was talking in sentences.

By the end contact session, the child was running to Tom for cuddles and both engaged in play together and sessions were relaxed and fun with no intervention from the supervisor, only in monitoring the session.

Feedback from mother was positive regarding the facilities available, the support of the centre staff and being able to go at her daughter’s pace.

Feedback from Tom was also very positive about the approach we had taken and in particular thankful that reports were on time and factual which helped him demonstrate his commitment to being with his daughter.

At the family’s next court date, Tom came into the centre to thank staff as contact had moved onto 6 supported sessions which we were able to provide and after that mother and Tom agreed to continue contact a in the community.

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