The Working Together for Children Course (WT4C)
Contact Activity provisions were introduced through The Children & Adoption Act 2006 in December 2008. Contact Activities are accessed where separated parents are in dispute over arrangements concerning their child. These provisions are designed to promote, encourage and maintain contact between children and the parent/family member that she/he does not currently live with.
The WT4C programme is a type of Contact Activity. The programme supports the principle that children should have a meaningful relationship with both parents following separation, as long as it is safe and in the child’s best interests (now enshrined within The Children and Families Act 2014).
The course also strongly encourages separated parents and families to:
- focus their attention and approach on the needs of the child
- reduce any conflict
- strive for improved communication.
WT4C complements the overall approach that unless there are safeguarding concerns, separated families should be encouraged to resolve their disputes themselves.
The WT4C course – practical information
The WT4C programme is run by providers who have received appropriate training and are deemed ‘suitable’ to deliver the course. Delivery of the course currently takes place in areas across Wales. The course takes place over 4 hours and can be delivered over 1 day or over 2 separate days in 2 - 2 hour sessions.
The WT4C programme is available to separated parents/family members following the making of a Contact Activity Order or Direction by the Court. Once an Order or Direction is made, CAFCASS Cymru will make a referral to a suitable provider, local to where the parent/family member lives. Parents/family members will not attend the course together and will normally be referred to different providers.
The cost for attendance on the programme is £150.00. However, if the parent or family member is receiving legal aid then attendance is free.
For those not receiving legal aid and who believe that paying for the programme will lead to financial hardship, it is possible to apply for financial assistance from CAFCASS Cymru to meet the cost of attendance. An application pack will need to be completed, following which a decision will be made as to whether the criteria for financial assistance has been met. Individuals will be informed of the decision with 5 working days of receipt of an application, and if successful a referral will be made by CAFCASS Cymru to a suitable provider.
Other Contact Activity Provision
Alongside the WT4C programme, CAFCASS Cymru has also commissioned providers to deliver a 1 hour information and advice session on the potential benefits of mediation.
As with the WT4C programme, such provision would be available to separated parents or family members following the making of an appropriate Order or Direction from the Court. The 1 hour session currently costs £60 with the same possible exemptions and financial support options as the WT4C programme outlined above.
Contact Services are voluntary organisations. We will only refer to and work with Contact Services accredited by the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC).
Contact Services will not be used in any cases involving risk to children or adults and will only be used where it is considered safe and beneficial contact for the child can take place.
The centres are equipped with your child in mind, providing toys, games and facilities which reflect the diverse needs of children affected by family breakdown.
If you have been referred to a child contact service or just want to find out more please visit the NACCC website (external link) for further information.