Barnardos supervises safe and supportive contact visits for hundreds of at risk children and their non-resident parent or significant adult
Barnardos supervises safe and supportive contact visits for hundreds of at risk children and their non resident parent or other significant adult.
We are New Zealand's leading children's charity. We believe kiwi kids deserve a bright future and we’re committed to making a real difference to their lives.
We help children, families and whānau by supporting, protecting and educating.
Update for 19/11/2008 19 November 2008
This is Pat and Jackfs* story: My son Jack was born when I wasn't with his mother Sarah anymore. I didn't even know I had a son until he was nine months old. At first, I was really scared but after I got used to the idea I was quite excited and really wanted to meet him. Unfortunately, Sarah didn't want me to see him and every time I tried to arrange a time and place she said no. She had named me as Jackfs father on the birth certificate, but despite this I had no guardianship rights. I didn't want to see a lawyer but in the end I knew it was my only chance to see Jack. The day of the court hearing was quite nerve-racking but the judge gave us joint guardianship rights and said that Jack has a right to a relationship with both his Mum and his Dad. This was when Barnardos became involved. They had a place where I could go to see Jack, and their staff would be there to help me. The travel time to get there is quite long because I live far away from Sarah, but I knew the chance to see him would make it worth it. But, Jack had never been away from his Mum or family members before so when Sarah went to leave he became very upset. Before I had arrived, the Barnardos staff member, Kate, decided it was best to call off the session so that Jack could calm down. Kate suggested Jack visited the centre each week so he could get used to the place and the staff, and Sarah would be able to leave without him becoming distressed. Eventually, Jack settled in and I was able to visit. The day I got to meet my son for the first time was the best day ever! So far we have had five sessions together and they are just great. He is even starting to recognise me! I go to the Barnardos Childrenfs Contact Centre every four weeks. The round-trip takes me several hours in total but is worth it to spend time with my boy. Our relationship is new, and I don't want to force it. When Jack is tired and I only get to spend 10 minutes out of the hour session, that is okay with me because those 10 minutes are very precious. I am so grateful to Barnardos, as without their supervised contact, I wouldn't be able to see Jack at all. Whilst Pat is very grateful for the experience, it is Jack who has really benefited. He is able to meet his Dad in a place where he feels safe and comfortable and his future will be brighter from having a relationship with both of his parents. Without adequate funding these outcomes would not have been possible. Please donate today to ensure more children and parents are given the chance to develop or rebuild positive relationships. All names have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.