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Child Contact Centres

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 30 April 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many child contact centres are in operation; and what plans he has to extend the use of child contact centres as neutral venues for children to meet their non-resident parent. [110371]

A survey of child contact services in England and Wales last year identified 522 private law child contact centres. 83 per cent. of these are affiliated to either the National Association of Child Contact Centres or NCH. We are working closely with key providers and users to extend service provision and develop service standards. The Government is providing £2.5 million over the next three years from the Children's Fund for child contact services. This includes developing new supervised child contact services in parts of the country with no such service. We are also working with Sure Start and local authorities, through the Local Government Association, to utilise public law contact facilities.