The referral

Family Focus receives the referral. The referral will state, the time and frequency of the visits.

The Contact Coordinator will then meet separately with the day to day carer, the visiting parent/caregiver and the child(ren) to determine the best fit with the service and to allow them to raise questions about the visits. The Contact Coordinator and the parties will also discuss and agree to the visit rules to ensure the best interests of the child(ren). 

The Contact Coordinator will inform the parties that a report of the visits will be submitted to the Family Court or Oranga Tamariki (OT) and should they wish to see this report they must do so through their lawyer. 

If a decision is made to proceed, the children will visit the centre to ensure it feels a safe, familiar, and friendly to them.  

After the assessment process, the Contact Coordinator will confirm the session days and times and the contact supervisor.


Our guiding principles

  • The best interest of the child is paramount. The service is neutral in disputes between parties
  • Children have the right to express their view and have that taken into account in contact arrangements that affect them
  • Children have the right to enjoy their contact with their visiting parents
  • The service will provide a safe and child-centred environment for supervised contact visits or change-over arrangements with trained and experienced staff
  • Family Focus will respect your right to privacy and keep information we collect confidential. An exception to this is if we believe you, your child or another person is at risk of harm. In this situation, the information will be shared with the appropriate authorities
  • Family Focus’s Children’s Supervised Contact Services operate within the legal framework of the Care of Children Act 2004


Guidelines for visits

The visit

The visiting parent:

  • Agrees to keep to staggered arrival and departure times and not loiter, follow and/or harass their child’s day to day carer outside the contact centre
  • Agrees that any discussion regarding the process and reason for the supervised contact is to be with the Coordinator during office hours and not with staff during the day
  • Will not bring any unauthorised items or people into the visit site unless there is a signed authority in place agreed by the coordinator
  • Agrees that keeping children safe is paramount within the contact centre and, that children are to remain within the contact centre
  • Understands if they miss half their allocated visits we may cancel the service

The visiting parent will not:

  • Expose children to physical violence or abusive language and behaviour
  • Expose children to emotional abuse such as put-downs, blaming, teasing, or criticism. This includes negative comments about the other parent or trying to gain sympathy from my child, or prolonging farewells
  • Pressure the child/ren into activities or situations against their will
  • Be left alone at any time with the children
  • If you miss half of your allocated visits we may cancel the service


The visiting parent will:

  • Ensure that all conversations can be heard and is child-focused
  • Not discuss any adult issues, for example, future visits, court issues, or where the child might live in the future and with whom
  • Will not ask questions as to where the other parent lives or any other personal contact details
  • Will not use abusive language or intimidating behaviour towards staff


The visiting parent:

  • Accepts that Family Focus has the right to refuse to hand over a child from one party to another when staff consider the child is at risk or someone is likely to be harmed
  • Will abide by any directions given by the Supervisors
  • During the contact visits, only staff are permitted to:
    • Take photographs
    • Administer emergency first aid
    • Assist the children in the toilet and bathroom and change nappies, unless otherwise negotiated with the Contact Coordinator


The visiting parent will not:

  • Smoke on the premises
  • Arrive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Use a mobile phone during the visit
  • Bring dangerous objects into the visit site
  • Will follow the agency’s ‘use of facilities’ rules
    • If any of the above rules are disregarded, then contact sessions may be cancelled


  • Children and visiting parents are not permitted to view visual entertainment such as videos, photos from phones or youtube clips during the contact sessions. 
  • Music played during contact sessions must be appropriate for children
  • The visiting party may bring child-focussed activities to the visit

Any breach of these rules may result in notification to the Family Court/Lawyer or Oranga Tamariki(OT) or the Police

Click here to download a copy of the Supervised Contact booklet