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New online support for children & young people

New online material for children and young people forms a key part of the brand new website just launched by the charity The National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC).

The aim is that the children and young people section of the new website will become a ‘go to’ for any child or young people experiencing divorce and separation who may need child contact services.

The site features areas specifically for children, parents and professionals, complete with questions and answers that they get every day about child contact services. You will find their ‘Find a contact centre’ tool, and improved search facilities throughout the site.

How will the new site help a child or young person?

It is well known that young people experience a range of emotions when they go through the process of parental separation and the things that follow this. The impact of this emotion has the potential to be life changing, particularly if it is not recognised or nurtured in an appropriate way. Young people hear all kinds of things about what a family looks like and how families behave, and the reality for these children will often not fit the narrative they have become familiar with.

Within the home environment these young people will hear a range of information about the past, the current situation, the resident parent’s wishes for the future, and so on. This information will include negative information about the parent that no longer lives with them and potentially their family or friends as well. Not living with both parents has already changed this child’s world unimaginably and now they are learning that everything they thought about the other parent was wrong, regardless of how accurate this maybe. The parents that do not engage with their children in this way will still be doing this with their friends of family and therefore, still subjecting the child to this, potentially without even knowing.

This leaves young people with few safe places to talk about what is happening for them. The consequences of this are likely to be that they do not talk, or they choose how much information to share to prevent them feeling judged or somehow inferior.

NACCC has produced a new range of media for children and young people which will provide them with helpful information, right from the point of being told about the potential for using a contact centre. This information is fully accessible and can be accessed without the support of an adult. It aims to help answer their questions, ease their anxieties, and give them a better experience. The media includes:

  • Four stories about supported contact and supervised contact. Developed in consultation with the Family Justice Young People’s Board, the stories explore the emotions that children and young people could be feeling and how a child contact centre can help. You can find them in both a story and comic book format depending on preference.
  • Questions and answers. With questions about divorce and separation and what will happen at the contact centre.
  • Further videos and links to help.