I promised I would post when I found the elusive list of contact activity providers that the DCSF / CAFCASS have been threatening to publish since early December. And so here is the link. I want to weep. I knew there would be holes in the provision at the outset, but in my region (the South West) there is NO Domestic Violence Programme provision at all, no Parenting Information providers and the four Co-Parenting providers for Avon, Wiltshire and S Gloucestershire (where the two busiest courts are Bristol and Gloucester) are located in Cheltenham, Oxford, Plymouth and somewhere I’ve never heard of in Dorset. I mean how is that supposed to work when half of our clients can’t even afford to or can’t manage to get themselves to their local county court on time? No, contact activities are Do-Do dead in the West Country, for the time being at least.
So the interesting question is, in contact activity deserts like the West Country how will courts approach making enforcement orders? Notionally at least the first line of response to recalcitrant parents is a contact activity direction, followed by an enforcement order if that doesn’t work. What if contact activities are nowehere to be had or ridiculously inaccessible?