Notice: Due to the Covid-19 period we are happy to offer a Virtual Supervised Contact Service for all 9 Centres, which is available to any family/local authority and can be set up extremely quickly, ensuring consistency for children, with availability to accommodate new referrals and requests at short notice and without waiting lists, in order to minimize further disruption to contact, more details can be found here.
We are an independent provider facilitating child-centered supervised and supported contact for children and family members in the UK. We work with many local authorities to deliver this service and have experience in supporting families through this process.
The welfare and interests of children are our paramount concern. By providing a professional supervised contact service we can help provide family support through a difficult time in their lives. Allowing family members to spend time with their children.
Our aim is to enable children to keep in touch with their parents and families in a safe, friendly, and informal atmosphere.
We believe that every child has the right to love and support of parents and families, wherever possible. We work to ensure that the diverse needs of children are met and that our child contact centers provide facilities that reflect our child-centred approach.
We employ an experienced, multicultural workforce including qualified social workers which reflect the diverse nature of our work. We coordinate our workers to meet the needs of the children and their families and are able to match workers to meet the language, race, cultural, behavioral and disability needs.
We believe in partnership working by providing an open and honest service. We are proud of our track record in building solid working relationships with parents, families, foster carer’s and professionals.
We strive to make contact a positive and happy experience for children and families.
"As a local authority, we were impressed with their professional and innovative approach to the work. From the point of award of the contract to the start of the work, they were able to demonstrate a flexible but consistent approach to the setting up of the service...There were no reports of any problems of transfer of the individual family cases."
Central Bedfordshire Council
“Swanstaff have made a huge difference to our children’s services”
Delivery Director, Lambeth Borough Council
“All of the Swan Employees at the Centre have always made me feel welcome and safe. A very high and professional quality of service. Thank you to all of the staff”
Service User, Lambeth
Swanstaff have consistently taken the ‘can do’ approach to this service. They have improved areas, which were of concern to the Council prior to Swanstaff taking the contract on. These improvements were achieved quickly and with effective joint working between the Council and Swanstaff manager."
Central Bedfordshire Council
"I would like to say thanks to your contact team at Bedford. They are accommodating and they respond to my requests quickly - some of which are very complicated and time consuming for the team. I am appreciative of their understanding and patience."
Social Worker, Bedford
Thank you for bringing families together. The service you provide is truly wonderful. We treasure our time at the centre
Main entrance on Kennings Way.
14 White Hart Street
0207 733 7215
Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 5:00pm Sunday: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Open bank holidays at usual opening times (apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day)
Eagle House, 14 Queen's Rd, Coventry
024 7771 9888
Pembroke House, Spring Meadow Business Park, Springmeadow Rd, Rumney
0292 1672 929
Cowbridge Court, Cowbridge Rd West, Cardiff
029 2167 2900
142/148 Stanley Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool
0151 3181 237
Unit 2D/E Wavertree Boulevard South
0151 3181 236
Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 6.00pm
Closed Bank Holidays
1050-1052 London Road
020 8103 4811
Monday – Saturday: 9.00am – 6.00pm
Closed Bank Holidays
45 Friends Road, Croydon, Surrey
020 8103 4810
Monday - Friday: 9.30am - 6pm
Saturday: 9.30am – 4pm
Closed Bank Holidays
4 Ferncliff Road
020 3828 8529
As experts in the Family Contact services field we believe in the power of research, statistics, trends and the sharing of knowledge. You can find some of our latest publications below and you can join our mailing list to receive further communications here..
Swan Family Centres awarded the South West and East of England of the Cafcass ICFA Swan Family Centres have officially been awarded the South West and the South East of England to operate with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). Swan Family already works alongside Cafcass in our Lambeth centre and are delighted to be able to expand our services within our Croydon, Hackney, Bedford and Coventry centres too. The supported and supervised contact we can deliver aims to provide a safe, neutral and comfortable place for children to see their parents or family. Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. They independently advise the family courts about what is safe for children and in their best interests. Cafcass put the child's needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children's voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting. Lucy Glass - Director of Contact Centres for Swan Family says: “We are excited and rearing to go with our new contracts. The work that both Swan Family and Cafcass can achieve when working together is unmatched and having the child at the very heart of our service will forever remain”. What is Improving Child and Family Arrangements (ICFA)? Improving Child and Family Arrangements (ICFA) is the service designed by Cafcass to help families agree safe, beneficial, and sustainable spending time with arrangements when they are finding it difficult to do so on their own. ICFA work is short term, court-ordered in private law cases only and has four expected key outcomes for families: 1. Reducing barriers and resistance to agreeing on arrangements and managing any risks so that these are safe 2. Promoting positive communication within families 3. Ensuring children’s wishes and feelings are heard and considered 4. Helping families agree on a Parenting Plan to avoid future issues arising The work will be tailored to meet the needs and outcomes of each individual family and should include application of learning from the Separated Parents Information Programme. ICFA work takes place over a few weeks and may include, but is not limited to: • Meeting the parents together and/or individually to help resolve issues and prepare them for spending time with the child/ren • Direct work with the child/ren to prepare them for spending time with the adult • Observation of the adult spending time with the child/ren in a contact centre, the home, the community, or any other suitable settings ICFA referrals are funded by Cafcass and are delivered by our contracted service providers. CANW is a lead provider of ICFA works in partnership with other organisations. Find out more about what Cafcass do and how they support families here.
Swan Family Centres re-awarded Coventry Contact Service Contract Swan Family Centres, who have 6 other contracts in the Bedford, Cardiff, Croydon, Hackney, Lambeth and Liverpool areas, have been re-awarded the Coventry Contact Service Contract for another 5 years. We are currently working with 217 families and on average are facilitating around 265 contact sessions within the centre, community and family homes. In our Coventry centre – we have 13 rooms designed to cater to family contact sessions and two spacious kitchens available to the families who use our service. We have completely refurbished and modernised the centre and we are working closely with Coventry City Council to provide the best experience we possibly can for our service users. Natasha Skeltcher – Swan Family Coventry Centre Manager says: “As the centre manager, I am delighted that we have been awarded the contract with Coventry City Council for another 5 years. During the difficult times that we have experienced over the last year, our team at Coventry Family Centre have worked exceptionally hard to strengthen our relationships within the Local Authority to allow us to succeed for another 5 years”.
Swan Family Centres awarded the Highly Commended for Best Contract Delivery. In April 2021, Swan Family Centres was announced as a finalist in the Go Awards Wales under the Best Contract Delivery category. Though the competition was high, on the 29th of April 2021 the judging panel awarded Swan Family Centres with the Highly Commended certificate. Lucy Glass - Director of Contact Centres for Swan Family says: "We are incredibly honoured to be recognised by the Government Opportunity Awards. It means so much to us that we are able to create opportunities for families to keep in contact with each other within a safe environment. The welfare and interests of children are our paramount concern and will remain at the heart of our service each and every day".
Meet our New Swan Family Centres! Swanstaff Recruitment has launched 3 new Swan Family Centres in the last 3 years. Both of our Croydon centres were launched in October 2019 and our Hackney centre in April 2020. Swanstaff Recruitment who already runs the Swan Family Centres in Bedfordshire, Lambeth, Cardiff, Coventry and Liverpool, ensure that the child is at the heart of the service and the centre of everything we do. Our innovative practices such as Life Story booklets support a child’s journey through their contact. These booklets also include feedback sections because we value the opinion and feedback from our service users. Lucy Glass, Director of Contact Centres at Swanstaff says: “We are proud of what we have achieved as a team over the past 3 years, we couldn’t be happier. Our mission has stayed the same throughout the years and we are delighted to be able to extend that even further as the years go on. We ensure both Croydon and Hackney that we will provide outstanding service and a safe environment for contact.” The Swan Family services in Croydon and Hackney are available to both local authorities and private referrals and services include Supervised and Supported Contact, Community Contact, Handover and Transport. For more information about Swanstaff Recruitment and their Swan Family services, or to make a referral please visit www.swanfamily.org.uk
Important Notice: Currently our Contact Sessions are taking place as Virtual Supervised Contacts in response to the current Covid-19 epidemic and Government Action Plan to reduce the number of people leaving their homes. You can find out more about the Virtual Supervised Contact Service here. What is supervised contact? Supervised contact means that your contact with a child will be in the presence of a trained contact worker. Contact sessions are supervised by experienced members of staff who are trained to intervene when absolutely necessary in a professional manner. The staff member will also complete an un-biased factual observation report recording what happens during the contact. What is a supervised contact order? A child Contact Order can be made to give children the right to see both of their parents. The amount of contact and the arrangements made should take into account the situation immediately before the child Contact Order, if there is deemed to be risk the order will specify that Supervised Contact is required. When is supervised contact necessary? Supervised contact is used when it has been determined that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering harm when spending time with a family member. Where do Supervised Contact Sessions take place? Supervised contact sessions take place either in one of our Supervised Contact rooms at a Swan Family Centre or close by in the community. Our contact centre rooms are individually themed and have lots of resources such as toys, arts and crafts, books etc for children of all ages and allow for a relaxed contact session which enables children to feel at home and safe and encourages positive interaction between children and parents. If Supervised contact takes place in the community, you would usually meet at the contact centre and visit somewhere within walking distance such as a park, accompanied by the Supervised Contact worker. How long can supervised contact sessions last? This is dependant on the court order and what is agreed in court. Why is supervised contact important? Supervised contact ensures the physical and emotional safety of a child. Supervised contact assists in building and sustaining positive relationships between a child and members of their non-resident family. Who pays for supervised contact? If a referral is made by the local authority then supervised contact sessions are usually funded. For private arrangements, the cost of supervised contact is covered by the parent as stipulated in the court order or as mutually agreed by the parents out of court. Can Grandparents have supervised contact? Yes this is possible but would be highlighted within the court order or as part of a mutual agreement between all parties. What is included in a supervised contact report? A supervised contact report covers a wide range of information, including Timekeeping (and ability to adhere to any special measures such as arriving early), Visual Check of the Child’s physical state, Physical Interaction between the parent and the child, any intervention made by the Contact worker, any disputes and how they are handled, the emotional impact of contact on the child and any changes required/recommendations for future contact arrangements. How do I make a referral for Supervised contact at Swan Family Centres? To make a referral, initially, you should send us an enquiry – this can be done via the form below. Once we have received your enquiry we will send you a formal Referral form and our pricing structure. Before your first contact can be set up we need to have a separate meeting with each parent to discuss the details of contact and go through the referral. To get the process started a referral needs to be filled in and sent back to us and the £40 set up fee needs to be paid. Form ID:4074
Meet Stacey Murray! Stacey joined Swan Family centres almost 3 years ago in May 2016, she has a total of 6 years experience in Children's Contact Services. Stacey is Centre Co-ordinator at Cardiff West Swan Family Centre. Role and Responsibilities As a Centre Co-ordinator, daily duties for Stacey include scheduling a large number of contact sessions, undertake meetings, work with other professionals internal and external to the service and ensure that safe, positive contacts take place. Stacey also works closely with staff and the Administration team to ensure we deliver the correct reports and on all aspects of our contract. Ensuring our Core Values are met Stacey is passionate in ensuring we meet our obligations for a child-centred service - she says: I ensure that safe positive contacts take place in the centres and in the community, liaise closely with social workers and Guardians and make sure there are stimulating and age appropriate facilities for all families. I always treat all workers, families and professionals with respect and have built good working relationships with all. How does Stacey feel about her role at Swan Family? I enjoy working at Swan Family centre as a coordinator as it challenges me every day and Swanstaff have offered me great opportunities within the company. It give me a sense of achievement to see Families enjoying contact and to know that we are working closely with Cardiff children services to ensure the children’s safety and well being.
Positive Spaces for Contact The word ‘positive’ is crucial to the service we provide for families at our Swan Family Contact Centres, where the children have been placed into care. Up until this point, the families experience in life would probably be described as ‘negative’. Our Contact Centres are the first step towards a brighter new future for both the children and their families. Positivity is paramount to the process being a success. A positive contact experience does not happen by accident; behind each contact session, a very careful planning process has taken place. The word ‘positive’ is crucial to the service we provide for families where the children have been placed into care. Up until this point, the families experience in life would probably be described as ‘negative’. Our Contact Centres are the first step towards a brighter new future for both the children and their families. Positivity is paramount to the process being a success. A positive contact does not happen by accident; behind each contact a very careful planning process has taken place. In most cases, families are referred to us by a Social Worker after the breakdown in the parents’ ability to keep their child safe. For the child, this is an anxious time where everything they had known has been turned upside down. Therefore it is essential that our Contact Centres offer warmth and safety with the real possibility of new beginnings. Our Contact Centres represent the start of a positive new future for our families, without judgement. A Supervised Contact is not always an easy situation for people to be in or understand. Imagine carrying out a routine task that requires little or no thought, and imagine this again with the pressure of a stranger observing you completing this task. It would be a daunting prospect for many of us, feeling ‘under the spotlight’ in this way. This could make you feel uncomfortable, uneasy, or even angry. Our centres are designed to take these feelings and pressures into consideration. We endeavour to make your experience as comfortable as possible for all of our families. We are confident from our services and the feedback we receive, this is achievable. We aim to achieve postive spaces for contact through 3 key avenues: Our Staff Our Centres Our Facilities Our Staff Our Family Contact Centres are managed by competent staff who have extensive knowledge of the development of children. They also have the awareness of the possible psychological effects both the children and families may be experiencing, and the ability to empathise with them. Although we may not be able to directly relate to each individual situation, we do our best to pre-empt any signs of negativity during each contact, as this is a very emotional time for families. Our Centres Our Family Contact Centres are tailored to meet the needs of our families. Rooms are themed and provide scope for the families to relax, play and enjoy their time together. Each room is designed with families and their needs in mind, offering different backdrops to spark imagination and enthusiasm. They are also designed to give each family the privacy they deserve during their time together. Our Facilities All of our contact rooms have comfy sofas and bright décor that creates an ambiance of fun and positivity while families can enjoy valuable time together. There is at least one shared kitchen at each of our Contact Centres providing an opportunity for families to share a meal together. Meal times are an important social time for families and we positively encourage baking, cooking and eating together to help build broken bonds. These meals can be eaten within the kitchen, or taken to the contact room you are utilising for privacy. Each Contact Centre is equipped with games for all age groups from very young children to young adults. They are yet another opportunity to focus on activities that promote sharing and conversation during the contact experience. We are dedicated to providing positive experiences for the families who visit us by providing a welcoming, bright environment where everyone is treated with respect. When so much negativity has been experienced, we pride ourselves in making the difference in the lives of the families we support. The bright chairs, decorative walls and a warm greeting offered by a member of our dedicated team, welcome you to our Contact Centres. Prior to your first visit, each family’s needs will have been carefully assessed and a contact tailored to them will have been planned. Behind the transition from reception to a private room there has been a wealth of thought by our experienced Managers and Social Workers. Each room has a different theme and you could find yourself transported to any number of new worlds within the Contact Centre, each providing a safe and happy environment. Our first room ‘Lots of Spots’, is a good ‘all round’ room that lends itself to larger family groups and with its own kitchen just next door and a large table it is ideal for a family meal to be eaten around or maybe a board game to be played upon. For the teenagers our ‘Graffiti’ room is a space with bright, bold graphics on the walls and comfy beanbags to relax on. The ‘Over The Rainbow’ room invites you to a world where the colours aren’t limited to seven. There is room to share a book on the sofa or on the beanbags. ‘Monkey Magic’ is a room for our younger visitors with an array of toys and activities that will keep even the hardest to please occupied. ‘The Owls Nest’ is a room designed with our baby visitors in mind, where plush comfy play mats litter the floor invitingly and soft music plays from the hanging mobiles to create peace and tranquility for babies and their family to relax in. And last, but not least, grab your flippers and snorkel and dive into ‘Sea World’, a fantastic room that creates the feeling of truly being under the sea without water. Tropical fish swim leisurely across the walls, and the comfy sofas make a perfect resting place to reflect. All of these different ‘worlds’ offer a different experience but with several things in common, they are all comfortable, warm and bright. ‘Have Hope, Be Strong, Laugh Loud and Play Hard, Live In The Moment, Smile Often’ is just one example of the inspirational messages across our walls. Our Contact Centres are designed to offer the security our families need as they take their first tentative steps forward, adjusting to the new life ahead. It is with pride that we take these steps with them and make the time they share together the best and most positive it can be. For More information about our services do not hesitate to contact us using the enquiry form below. Or you can download a copy of this article as a PDF here Positive spaces for Contact.pdf Size: 1.05 MB Form ID:4182
Our aim at Swan Family Centres is to ensure that Children are always at the heart of the service and that their voices are heard. Positive outcomes for the children who visit our centres is our ultimate aim and we strive to ensure that their experience during visits with us and their prospects when they stop visiting us are positive. There are many ways that we do this, some of which we have showcased in the graphic below:
Life Story work is used to gather and record information about a child or young person’s family, community and personal life journey. It helps them develop a sense of their own identity. It can also be used as a great source of information about childhood experiences and achievements. At Swan Family Centres, we have implemented Life Story Work by creating a journal for all children that visit our centres. We have specifically trained staff in Life Story Work too which makes it easier to assist the children in doing this activity. Life story work is an important way of helping a child to integrate their past into the present, in order to help them to move into the future and therefore those that live with them, have the opportunity to know about their past. Our contact centres refer to them as the children’s contact books. They are completed by our contact workers after the sessions. It is a form of continuing care that once the children no longer has contact sessions at the centre, the books are passed onto the social worker and other necessary parties who will keep them with their life story folder that follows them. Our contact workers will write observations of events and memories that took place during the child’s visits for example, an important birthday, first steps, first meeting with family members, Christmas, a certain activity that the family does together etc. They will write a brief observation of what happened and where possible add a photograph of the activity! Lucy Glass, Director of Contact Centres said: “The biggest thing we have learnt as a team is that some children spend so much time at the contact centre and it’s really important for their memories to be captured and shared. Social workers have also complimented staff on the way these have been completed too.”