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CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes opens Broken Hill Children’s Contact Service

CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes team members Mark Braes and Julua Hamel in the newly-opened Broken Hill Children’s Contact Service, a space to support children of separated parents to build positive relationships with the family they do not live with.

Separating and separated families in far-western NSW can now access a safe, nurturing and impartial place for children to see their other parent or extended family at the new Broken Hill Children’s Contact Service (CCS).
CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes (CCWF) has opened the centre to provide supervised contact visits and changeover services.
The child’s needs are the primary focus of the service, and its purpose is to allow children to stay connected with both parents and other significant people in their lives, in situations where families are unable to manage their own contact arrangements.
Children’s Contact Services currently operate in more than 60 locations across Australia, but until now, the nearest to Broken Hill was at Mildura, a three-hour drive away.
CCWF received $2 million in Australian government funding over four years to establish the Children’s Contact Service in the far-western NSW city.
CCWF chief executive officer Anne-Marie Mioche said the establishment of the Children’s Contact Service brought a valuable and much-needed service to the Broken Hill community.
“The purpose of the Children’s Contact Service is to provide children the opportunity to re-establish or maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents, as well as grandparents and other significant people in their lives,” Ms Mioche said.
“The opening of the Children’s Contact Service reflects our commitment to responding to need, and is the realisation of a long campaign by the city’s social and legal services.”
CCWF has a strong record of delivering support and social services in western NSW.
The Broken Hill Children’s Contact Service provides a safe, non-judgemental and positive environment for young people up to 18 years of age, and their parents.
Its professional team is headed up by CCWF Healthy Relationships – Children’s Contact Services delivery leader Mark Braes, who has a wealth of experience in the sector.
“We know that for some separated parents, experiences of worry, fear and anger can make it difficult to manage child contact arrangements and the co-parenting relationship,” Mr Braes said.
“Our team of contact workers facilitate safe, positive and child-focused contact visits.
“The centre has a range of age-appropriate resources to help children enjoy time with their visitor.
“Contact workers are present during visits and can provide support to children and parents.”

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