Frequently asked questions

Everything you need to know about accessing our services

What service do I need?

This will depend on a number of factors

  • what has been ordered by the Court
  • what service we are willing to offer following your initial meeting, subject to our risk assessment
  • what is in the best interests of your child/ren

How do I make a referral?

You will need to complete our referral form, available from our download button, and pay our non-refundable referral fee of £100.  We will not proceed with any referral until both of these are received.

What happens next?

Separate initial meetings will be arranged with both parents upon receipt of the referral form and fee.  While we endeavour to offer a date for the initial meetings within two weeks of receipt, this is subject to both parent’s availability and our own.  Once the initial meetings and our risk assessment are complete, we will negotiate a start date with the parties if appropriate.

Do we accept all referrals?

No.  Following completion of initial meetings, we will make a decision as to whether we are able to offer a service.  We use the guidelines issued by the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC), in order to make such decisions, and there may be occasions when we are not able to offer a service, such as when there are on-going criminal investigations or pending safeguarding investigations by the Court.  Should this be the case we will provide information to the parents as to why this decision is made.

How long will I have to wait before contact starts?

Following completion of initial meetings, during which we have been satisfied that it is appropriate to start family time sessions, we aim to arrange the first session at the first available opportunity, usually within four weeks.  However this is dependent upon parent and child availability.

How much will it cost and who pays?

This is no longer a subsidised service and unfortunately we have to cover our costs.  It needs to be mutually agreed by the parties as to who will cover the cost of using Families Forward.  The price of our services are as follows:

  • 1 hour Supervised Family Time £75
  • 2 hour Supervised Family Time £130
  • 1 hour Supported Family Time £45
  • 2 hour Supported Family Time £70
  • 1 way Handover £20
  • 2 way Handover £40
  • Indirect/Letterbox £20 per occasion plus postage
  • Supported Indirect/Letterbox £45
  • 1 hour review meeting £50

Will I have to see my ex-partner?

No, we arrange staggered arrival and departure times.

Is there parking at the Centre?

We have a large, free private car park at the rear of both of our venues.

How long do I have to use the service for?

That will depend on the Court and are also subject to our reviews of the work.

Will I get a written record of the sessions?

The cost of our supervised sessions include a copy of the written record to both parties.  On request we can provide attendance records for our supported and handover services.   It is your responsibility to provide these notes to other professionals involved.

Who else can help me?

Please see our resources page

Resources that you might find useful



  • The majority of people who have attended are happy they came and say that they felt it was helpful. Here are some quotes from people who have previously attended the course:

    I opted for a couple of supervised sessions instead of the supported that had been ordered. I felt the worker had a great balance between engaging and taking a back seat. I think (the service) is spot on and I was very happy with the Covid protocol

    The service is amazing and I can’t tell you how much it helped me. Only wish you had a greater influence in Court

    I’m sure my son will be missing coming there and throwing balls all over the room as well. Thank you for making it easy and supporting everyone during this process 

    I believe that the service Families Forward offers is 5 stars. I have been to many centres and this one by far was the best for my child. The staff were approachable, they listened to concerns, they acted in a professional manner and were very welcoming. The children’s safety and welfare was always put first.

    I was very happy with Families Forward. My worker was great with my child

    “Everything was brilliant and the people were very friendly – it comes highly recommended, for sure!

    I found the atmosphere at Families Forward warm and welcoming. All the staff worked sensitively and helped contact move on to where me and my ex partner have put our differences aside and we know make our own arrangements for contact. I recommend Families Forward to any parent who finds it difficult to see their children no matter how hard it may seem.

    My daughter is 2 1/2 ish, never once have I seen my daughter look anything other than comfortable. Staff made what could of been uncomfortable a very easy process. Nothing negative to say. My worker was fabulous with my daughter and myself. Professional staff but also human.

    The biggest thank you ever for everything that you have done. You knew what to sat ay the right time. I have been guided and kept sane at times and learnt to take focus. You are all a credit to the Centre.