In some circumstances, non-residential parents may have an extended period of time away from their child following separation for work, or due to a particularly acrimonious separation. In these circumstances, and depending on other factors such as the age of the child, and the nature of the relationship between the non-residential parent and the child, it may be beneficial for the child to have a gradual re-introduction to the non-residential parent and to slowly build up the relationship.
In other cases, the residential parent may have concerns about the non-residential parent’s relationship with the child, and may be somewhat fearful of the non-residential parent spending time alone with the child. In these circumstances, agreeing to a certain amount of supervised contact to begin with can assist in building the residential parent’s trust in the non-residential parent.
Alternatively, if the residential parent and the non-residential parent have a very high level of conflict, supervised contact can provide a changeover service where the parents do not have to see or speak to each other, thus providing a conflict free environment for the child.
In still other cases, there may historically have been issues of family violence, and supervised contact may be necessary to ensure the safety of the child, and also the safety of the residential parent, as post separation parent / child contact can provide a significant risk for post-separation violence to occur.
Finally, if there are concerns about significant levels of drug use and alcohol abuse by the non-residential parent, supervised contact allows for the non-residential parent to be assessed prior to the contact to ensure that they are able to care for the child.