The Ministry of Justice is piloting a new service that provides a safe, neutral venue for children under parenting arrangements to be transferred between caregivers.
General Manager Provider and Community Services Warren Fraser says children can be deeply affected by conflict between their parents or caregivers.
“By removing the need for parents or caregivers to meet when children are handed over, this service aims to reduce the risk of children being exposed to potential conflict,” says Warren.
The supervised handover service is being trialled in Whanganui and Rotorua until the end of February 2018.
It is a free service that is initially available in cases where the Family Court has imposed protective conditions on a Parenting Order under section 51 or section 48 of the Care of Children Act 2004. The parties may be referred to the service at the discretion of the court.
The Ministry has contracted Family Focus Rotorua to deliver the service in Rotorua and Barnardos New Zealand in Whanganui.
The supervised handover service is one of a number of measures to help keep children and adults safe after separation. These are all part of the work programme overseen by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.(external link)