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Families Forward Helping You...

These are unprecedented times and Families Forward would like to send our best wishes to all our families, and our hopes that you are all keeping safe and well.  We hope it is not too long before we see you all again, but rest assured that we will not do so until we can ensure the safety of our families and staff.  We also send our best wishes to our colleagues in CAFCASS and the many solicitors with whom we work.

We have heard lots of stories of families being able to make their own arrangements, and we are very pleased that this has been possible.   If you have been able to do so, please could you email us on familiesforward@btconnect.com , send a text to 07491 163850 (please note this is a text only number), or use the contact button on the website and let us know.  However, Families Forward staff have been looking at other  ways of keeping families in touch, and we are now able to offer an electronic indirect contact service, whereby items can be sent by email and then forwarded on.  Confidentiality will be maintained, and for this to be processed, both parties will need to agree to participate.  For further details, click the link below:

Guidance for Electronic Indirect Contact (PDF)

If you wish to take up this service, please send us an email or text and we will take it from there.

Update on 29 June 2020

We are pleased to announce that Families Forward will be opening shortly.  With effect from 1 July 2020, our staff will be contacting all our existing families to talk to you about how contact can re-start.   We would appreciate your patience, as it will take a while to contact everyone.     We will also be contacting all new referrals to arrange initial meetings.  Sessions will be available from mid-July.

Update on 3 June 2020

Following recent Government announcements, we have received advice from NACCC (National Association of Child Contact Centres) in relation to the re-opening of contact centres, as follows:

“Our interpretation of the guidance across all the areas is that this is still not the right time to be opening services. We recognise that other people will have different interpretations of this advice. Our understanding is that: where meetings of people are permitted outside of the home this is to be in an outside public space with 2 metres social distancing. It is also a common theme that you should only meet people from a limited number of other households.

To attend a child contact centre would require families and staff to meet people from at least 3 different households (the child’s, the non-resident parent and that of the person supervising or supporting the session). Even where social distancing can be put in place, contact often takes place indoors which is not in line with current guidance. It is the case that a child can travel between homes for the purposes of contact, however a contact centre is not defined as a home environment.

We will continue to monitor the situation and advice running alongside this with a view to getting updated guidance out when the Government issued ‘new rules’. It is planned that this will next be reviewed around 15th June. The review in this information may come sooner or later depending on the information available to us. By 15th June more public services will be open and we will have a clear understanding how schools have managed. Taking this approach will ensure the safety of children and families whilst also seeking to avoid further disruptions, should there be a ‘second spike, or other reason to limit services.”

Families Forward is working to ensure that everything is in place to manage contact safely for both families and staff, and will re-open our doors as soon as we are able.

Update on 11 May 2020

Following the Government’s announcements this week regarding plans for reducing the lockdown, we confirm that Families Forward remains closed until at least the end of May.  Given the contact space that is available to us, we have considered whether we are able to maintain social distancing and at the moment we are not able to ensure the safety of staff and families.  However, we are working on this, and we will open our Centres as soon as it is safe to do so.  We will update this news post at the beginning of June to keep you informed.

The majority of our staff team remain on furlough, but we are still able to offer electronic indirect contact should you wish to take advantage of this.  Please email us on familiesforward@btconnect.com, or contact us on 07491 163850 (text only), and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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