A service delivered by a north east charity is highlighting the importance of dads in children’s lives this Father’s Day.
Over the last year, local charity Children North East has helped 87 dads and their children enjoy quality time together and build positive relationships during their family separation.
Children North East has been a Registered Child Contact Centre since March 2016 and has worked tirelessly to help families and children have contact whilst dealing with the physical and emotional impact of becoming a separated family.
One father, who attends the Contact Centre weekly to see his child, said: “I really can’t thank Children North East enough for providing this service. Being able to see my child weekly has really helped me build my relationship with them and has created such a positive bond between us.
Everyone who has been part of my process has been so supportive and encouraging of my relationship with my child, and they have made such a huge difference to our lives.”
Tracey Welsh, Families and Parenting Service Manager at Children North East, said: “With the UK having one of the highest rates of family breakdown, it’s often relationships between children and dads that suffer the most.
“Thanks to support we receive from Players of People’s Postcode Lottery we have been able to offer our Child Contact Centre services to families with the aim of improving children’s contact with separated parents. This has proved a lifeline to non-resident parents who still need contact with their children.
Dads come to us for all sorts of reasons, from a result of a Court Directive to seeking a new way to set up contact after other informal routes haven’t worked out.
“Parents see the service we provide as a means to ensuring their children’s safety as well as building a healthy relationship between the child and the non-resident parent and establishing a more binding routine.
“The Child Contact Centre is only one element of the many services we provide for families and children and is all part of the Children North East approach to providing family support.”
Using both traditional and modern methods of contact, families have been able to use the centre in person and via Skype, enabling families to keep in contact throughout the world.
The Centre is part of a national framework of similar centres and operates under guidance from the NACCC – National Association of Child Contact Centres. Parents can self-refer to the centre as well as referrals made by social workers and solicitors.