WHAT IS THE PROJECT ABOUT?
OUR AIM IS TO PRIORITISE THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN BY SUPPORTING FAMILIES TO STAY CONNECTED AND HELP CREATE POSITIVE MEMORIES FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE.
WHY IS THE PROJECT NEEDED?
Did you know over 350, 000 couples separate in the UK year?
Did you know approximately 200,000 children each year experience separation of their parents?
At least one in three children will experience parental separation before the age of 16 according to
(Joseph Rowntree foundation, Together and Apart).
Over 100,000 children lose contact with a family member yearly (NACCC).
EVEN WORSE ...
Children from separated parents are more likely to exhibit long term psychological Maladjustment; more than double the incidence in the general population (Lamb, 2007), especially where parental separation is fuelled with tension and hostility. Short term, children are likely to experience emotional / behavioural issues.
A loss of contact with a parent or significant family members is far more damaging. Longer term, children have a significantly higher probability of lower academic performance, more likely to manifest depressive symptoms, truancy, leave school or home prematurely and more at risk of drugs, crime as well as becoming teenage parents.
HOW THE PROJECT HELPS ?
Voice of the Child is a Nationally Accredited Child Contact & Family Support Charity providing Supervised and Supported Contact services. We provide a neutral, safe and supported family environment where children from separated families are supported to;
Enjoy safe, supported and consistent interaction with non-resident parents or significant family members
Develop sustainable attachment relationships with non-resident parent or significant family members
Parents are supported to understand/effectively manage the implications of separation and loss for their child/ren.
Child/ren are supported to develop positive attachment relationships with non-resident family & to experience reduced anxiety and stress caused by parent's separation.
HOW WE KNOW THE PROJECT HELPS
The project enables families to move from non-existent or dysfunctional contact patterns to a more sustainable, effective and high quality contact without the intervention of any outside agency. Generally families progress from having supervised contact sessions (strict supervision / reports to courts), to supported contacts ( support without monitoring) , to handovers (parent more empowered / unsepervised) and subsequently having full control of contact in own home or preferred personal setting without support from outside agencies.
We have an ongoing track record of enabling separated families to navigate a path that leads to being able to retain or develop positive and consistent attachment relationships and effective contact plans, independent of external support for the long-term psychological wellbeing of children and young people. 65% of SUPERVISED CONTACTS progress to less formal or less intense supported contact arrangements within a year. 80% OF SUPPORTED CONTACTS result in families reaching agreements that enable them to sustain positive relationships and meet frequently in ‘normal family circumstances’ within a year without external intervention.
THE OUTCOMES WE SEEK TO ACHIEVE:
Improved and sustainable attachment relationship between child/ren and non-resident parent
Retain sustainable contact with significant / extended family members e.g. Grandparents, Siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles.
Improved sense of belonging; Positive sense of self, identity and self-esteem.
Reduced psychological and emotional symptoms associated to loss and separation; such as anxiety, fear, depression, friendship or relationship difficulties.
Improved communication and long-term contact agreements between parents.
Improved and sustainable attachment relationship between parent and child/ren
Non-resident parents develop the skills and confidence to interact with their child/ren and to meet the needs of their child/ren independent of support from external agencies.
Parents feel more empowered to take control and prioritise the needs of their child/ren and enjoy positive family relationships without intervention from external agencies.
Families stay connected
Children enjoy positive family memories
Improved family wellbeing
FOR COMMUNITY / SOCIETY
A cohesive community
A fairer and safer society
Child Contact Centre originally opened by Slough MP Fiona McTaggart.
Voice of the child became a registered charity in April 2010. With a small team of family workers, trainee social workers, inndependent expert professionals and volunteers , we work in partnership with families, the courts, Local authorities, solicitors and other relavant professionals ; under the management of the founder and a board of trustees.
OUR KEY PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS