A Child Contact Intervention (CCI) is a short-term intervention of supervised contact, designed to assist when contact has broken down with one parent and additional assistance is required to re-establish contact in a safe, supported environment.

The court can make a direction, during the course of private children proceedings, that the parties are referred to a CCI. The referral will be made by Cafcass to an accredited organisation and Cafcass will fund up to 12 hours. Therefore, a direction for a CCI will usually follow a recommendation by Cafcass in a section 7 report.

A CCI can be particularly useful where there is intractable parental conflict, where contact with one parent has ceased and needs support to be re-established, and where there are risks that need to be further assessed.

A CCI will focus the parents on the child(ren)’s views and how they can approach contact in a way that best meets their needs. This can involve preparatory sessions for the child and the parents before contact takes place. Cafcass will also produce a report at the conclusion of the programme confirming the progress that has been made and their recommendations for future contact.

CCIs can have an extremely positive impact in private children proceedings. They offer flexibility and a supportive approach that is tailored to the family’s individual circumstances. They focus on the child(ren)’s views and assist the parents in establishing and maintaining a safe, positive structure for contact. However, it must be noted that the programmes are a limited resource and are not widely publicised.