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What happens at mediations and contact centers??

(6 Posts)
JAT12 Thu 06-Oct-11 19:35:58


Some advise would be great;

What happens at mediations when you are talking/trying to sort out access to seeing your child? If it goes to contact centers does the mother stay if the child is 11 months old and hasn't seen her father or heard from him for 4 months? How long do you have to go to the centers before he takes her home on his own?
Also, if he hasn't got parent responsibility can he just claim it?

Sorry for all the questions.

Meglet Thu 06-Oct-11 21:49:17

My experience of mediation.

Nice, quiet room. The woman (mediation officer) in charge sat me and XP down and I'm sure she did a little talk on how we were there for the benefit of the children and we should remember that and be civil to each other.

XP kicked off within minutes as the woman said he was being unreasonable with contact. She tried to get him to agree to certain times but also to be flexible but he wasn't willing to do it and after 20 mins of him ranting and getting angry she asked him to leave. After he went she gave me a hmm look in sympathy.

So I then arranged for a contact centre. We had 2 appointments arranged, before the first one he e-mailed me and said he wasn't going to go. We went along anyway, I certainly did not tell the children (then 3 & 1) what we were up to. They just thought it was another toddler group. XP didn't turn up on each occasion and the very nice people at the contact centre recorded it for their records. Case closed, we no longer have anything to do with him.

I don't know what happens with regards to very young children and how long it is before a NRP can take them out on their own.

TBH I found the mediation officer and staff at the contact centre really nice and very supportive. They've seen it all before and I daresay they're used to abusive parents and people who don't turn up.

Hope you can get it sorted out, it's not a great time is it sad.

JAT12 Thu 06-Oct-11 23:13:56

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your take on it.

Sorry to hear your situation didn't go to plan - Though, I bet you have two very happy content children from the love you give them. Families come in all different sizes. And, sometimes having that one parent is all they did if they are given enough love.

I am very worried about the contact centre as I have been told that I can't stay?That I have to leave my baby in a room with my XP and staff. I can't see how that is in the babies best interested. As adults we know how overwhelming it can feel to be put in a middle of a room with everyone staring at you and in your face you and don't know them. Let alone be a baby who can't be explain anything, and who don't know what is going on.

Its all pretty sad, and very tough at the moment. I just pray it gets sorted -

splashymcsplash Fri 07-Oct-11 00:19:01

I have no personal experience of contact centres but didn't want to read and run. I hope it does work out for you, and perhaps a positive is that you won't have to see your xp? You haven't given any background but perhaps not seeing xp is best for everyone. Your lo will be fine smile

cestlavielife Fri 07-Oct-11 09:41:10

is he not on brith cert?
msut not be otherwsie would automatically have PR.
whole point of contact centre is you dont have to be there eg if there has been abuse etc.

mine were older when we used contact centre - it went v well. contact failed after but there you go.

if dad is very keen adn wants to make it work you have to let baby go. if you are there dad wont get a chance with baby.

chances are baby will be distracted and fine after five minutes - as wehn they go to nursery etc

probably at least six sessions in centre before moving out - depends on the issues involved

Daisy1986 Fri 07-Oct-11 20:14:57

Mediation - Nice quiet room with a lady and ex. We chatted, he wasn't interested in compromise just wanted what he wanted and wouldnt listen to me. I decided not to go again.

Contact Centre.
We started in January when DD was 15 months old hadnt seen ex since he kicked off in Nov. We didnt get to look around as it was first session in Jan but I did get a phone call a few nights before to answer any queries. They send you a book to read to small children to try and explain it.

We went to contact centre - room full of age appropriate toys volunteers and parents. I would try and stay to settle her in but ex would always be there and try and take her straight away. So gave up on that. After getting several abusive texts the staff did handovers for us for a few sessions. Once she knew what was happening she would scream when I left her but Id ring the coordinator after about 10 mins and she had always settled. She used to be very agitated on the way up to the centre but I think that was her reading the stress form me on that day. For the first 2 sessions I provided a change bag with all neccessities for her and provided him with a list of things he would need to provide (He had never had sole responsibility with her.) They have refreshments available.

We went for around 6 sessions. Then I suggested 2 weekly sessions of 3 hours each one at a soft play area one at a surestart stay and play group. This is now extended to 8-5 once a week looking to move it onto overnights in November.

As for your LO being 11 months there were newborns and upwards at the centre we used so his age wont be taken into consideration (something I wsnt very happy with either). I had never left DD before we used contact centres so I also enrolled on a course at my local surestart so that I could use their creche so that this wasnt they only time LO was being left.

Inhindsight this whole time was very stressful along with court dates etc. However, it worked very well for me and my ex I think anyway. We are now civil to each other, DD has that all important relationship with her Dad and I get a break which even if we dont really want it it is important to have some time for yourself.

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