Family Buddies



Family Buddies will respond to requests for use of the service in a timely manner taking into consideration each parties literacy, cultural and social needs.

Family Buddies requires each party to complete an application to use the service.

We reserve the right to decline a referral if use of the Service will pose an unacceptable risk to a child, staff or other service users.

We have comprehensive safety and risk management procedures in place.

However, no guarantee can be given that a child will not be abducted or that a child will be returned from a changeover.

It is important that we are provided with all relevant information, by notation in court orders and/or provision by the Court of relevant documents such as a judgment or a Family Report, or by an Independent Children’s Lawyer, or by a parent in matters where there is risk or a prior history of inappropriate behaviour including a breach of a parenting order.


An intake interview with each parent is required to assess the capacity of the Family Buddies to perform the service as ordered or requested.

At the intake interview all information MUST be provided by the parents/legal guardian or their legal representatives. This may include a copy of :

  • the current parenting order,  consent order,  or any parenting plan 
  • the current Family Violence Order (if applicable)
  • the Family Report or other documents if ordered by the Court to be disclosed to the Children’s Contact Service
  • any information that may impact on the provision of the service such as medical and health related matters.
  • birth certificate of each child using the services
  • drivers licence or some other photographic identification.

All parties will be expected to sign an agreement (referred to as a Service Agreement), setting out the terms and conditions for the services provided by Family Buddies.

This will include:

  • appropriate child-focused conduct by all parties during service use,      including non-denigration of the other parties
  • co-operation with Family Buddies staff at all times
  • safety and risk management procedures, including separate arrival and handover locations and waiting areas, staggered arrival and departure times, and different arrival and departure routes
  • grounds for withdrawal of service
  • confidentiality, limits to confidentiality and reporting practices, and
  • punctuality and regular attendance.



Each child should participate in an orientation visit if the child is of sufficient age and capacity.

Discussions with the child will be conducted in a manner appropriate to the child’s developmental stage.

The orientation visit is important to:

  • familiarise the child/ren with their Family Buddy
  • assess how the child/ren feels about the proposed supervised visit or changeover, so the required level of support can be determined
  • help the child/ren to develop a sense of security and trust in the Family Buddy
  • encourage the child/ren to develop confidence and positive expectations about the proposed visit
  • develop a safety signal between the child/ren and Family Buddy to be used if and when the child/ren experiences discomfort and/or fear, and
  • assist the Family Buddies to further determine how the child/ren and the parents may be best supported.
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