Frequently Asked Questions
Children’s contact services help children from separated families to establish or maintain a
relationship with the non-resident parent or significant other.
Contact services provide professional and positive contact, arrangements, observations
We also provide a written record of the events that occur during supervised visits.
- Safe and neutral places where children can begin or continue their relationship with their non-resident parent or other extended family members
- Staffed by trained and paid employees
- Conducted with consideration of the child’s wellbeing, wishes and feelings
Courts may order supervised contact as appropriate depending on the circumstances. The most recurring reasons include;
- Lack of parenting skills or experience by one parent;
- A child needs to be reintroduced/introduced to a parent or family member where they have spent little or no time together, and the assistance of an experienced third party is required;
- Allegations of abuse or violence affecting a parent and/or child.
Supervised visits are typically court-ordered.
You can find a list of supervised children’s contact services at the Australian Children’s Contact Services Association’s (ACCSA) Online Directory here.
iSupervise has full association service affiliation with the ACCSA, which is the highest form of membership available for private services.
We are a one on one supervising service where children remain in the sight and/or hearing of the supervisor.
We are on offsite supervising service, which means you can choose the location where the visit will take place.
We have a list of suitable and unsuitable locations around Sydney, which we send you when booking.
Suitable sites include fast-food restaurants, parks, libraries, movie theatres, zoos and aquatic centres, bowling alleys, shopping centres, restaurants and art galleries.
When choosing a location, make sure the location has;
- A wet weather option onsite or nearby
- Cameras, if required. iSupervise will inform you when surveillance locations are required for your visit.
Usually, the contact visit remains in one location the entire time. Parents drop off the child/ren and pick up the child/ren from the same place.
Concerning costs, contact services are split into two categories, government-funded services, and privately-operated services.
Government-funded services are subsidised and overseen by the government. There is usually a waiting list for these services, and visits are limited to children’s centres and playrooms. Even though government services are subsidised, some may charge a reduced fee.
Privately operated services are businesses that do not have government subsidy support. These services usually charge for visits at an hourly rate. Many private contact services also charge fees for transport and report writing. Make sure you check the service’s price list and ask for quotes that are inclusive of all fees, including GST, to have an idea about how much the visit will cost in total.
Sometimes, parents may book contact services with private providers while they are on the waiting list for the government-funded services.
Payments are generally either split equally between parents or paid by one parent. Court orders will usually specify who is responsible for the fees associated with contact services.
Yes! Check our availabilities on our booking page or contact us anytime!
We can facilitate visits immediately. Please ensure you allow for sufficient time for you and the other parent to provide us with documents.
There is an email and telephone intake for each parent before service commences. Each of the
interviews are conducted separately.
For your child/ren
Before the first visit, children are given time to familiarise themselves with the supervisor and the location of the contact visit. Depending on the child/ren’s age, the supervisor will speak to the child to ascertain their views, anxieties and wishes about their contact and what they should expect.
The supervisor will;
- Bend down to the child’s level
- Address the child by name
- Introduce themselves
- Discuss the location of the visit and the plan for the visit
We will just need both parents to fill out another form and require a copy of the visitor’s ID before they can be part of the visit. We also may require additional documents or an intake with the visitor if required.
Before you request a visitor be part of the visit, please check whether your Court orders or parenting arrangements allow for visitors during supervised contact.
We offer flexible supervision arrangements. Please contact us before your appointment.
If you would like to cancel, please let us know at least 24 hours before your visit. We do charge refund fee for cancellations by any party as follows;
- More than 24 hours before your visit: 20% of the invoice
- Less than 24 hours your visit: 50% of the invoice
Yes! We need to check if the location you chose has age-appropriate facilities for the child, including a nappy changing area. We have a range of suitable locations around Sydney for consideration.
Before the visit, we will email both parents a schedule with the start and end times for the visit. This will include a buffer period of 10-15 minutes. This ensures that parents will not encounter each other. Parties are expected to arrive punctually at the arranged times.
Yes! The report is a record of the supervisor’s observations regarding critical incidents during the visit. We email a copy of the report to both parents within seven days of your visit.
Some of our policies
Generally, the visiting parent or visitor(s) are permitted to give the child/ren food, drinks during contact, in moderation.
- We have a healthy food policy during visits.
If food items are being given to the child/ren to take home, the resident parent will be informed at pick up time so the food items can be handled appropriately and refrigerated if needed.
Generally, the visiting parent/visitors are permitted to give the child/ren money during contact, in moderation. The resident parent will be informed at pick up time so the money can be handled appropriately and kept safe.
All gifts, cards and letters given to children during the visit will be opened with a supervisor present.
If a risk of manipulation of the child/ren through gifts is mentioned in the intake, gifts can be limited via restrictions. These may include that the visiting parent only being allowed to bring gifts;
- For events such as birthdays and holidays only, and gifts must be given at the visit right before or right after the special event date;
- Of a quantity of no more than two or three items, including from grandparents, relatives, or friends.
In these circumstances, visiting parents should not tell the child/ren that they are going to give them something at the next visit that they can take home.
Visiting parents are encouraged to maximise their time with their child/ren.
If a visiting parent must return to their car with the child and supervisor (eg. Being on the way to a different area) the supervisor must ensure the child/ren stay at an appropriate distance.
Visiting parents with a risk of abduction cannot leave the visit location.
We generally allow photographs.
We do not allow photos in the following circumstances:
- where a risk of abduction of the child/ren is flagged in our risk assessment
- during the visit, where the child is distressed
- during the visit, where photography becomes excessive
In emergencies, if the event is not life-threatening, the supervisor will call the resident parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian cannot be reached, your emergency contacts may be contacted if appropriate.
If emergency services are needed, the supervisor will be responsible for making decisions regarding the care of a child until emergency services or the resident parent arrives.
Where a child is removed during a supervised visit, our staff immediately notify the resident parent and provide that parent with information and support.
If the supervisor has concerns about the child’s welfare, then the supervisor will call the police.