About This Program

Target Population: Parents of children and young people in long-term out-of-home care who have supervised contact with them

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

The kContact intervention consists of structured support provided to parents both prior to and following supervised contact visits with their child(ren) in long-term out-of-home care. The kContact program is delivered by a practitioner who has an existing relationship with the parent or who is best placed to develop this relationship and support or deliver the program. Although the program is structured there is flexibility to vary it depending on the frequency of contact and the parent and child’s needs.

Program Goals

The goals of kContact are:

  • Create an environment during the visit that will increase children’s emotional safety and reduce their distress related to contact
  • Improve relationships with their children
  • Improve the ability to support children in the context of contact visits
  • Reduce the number of contact visits cancelled

Essential Components

The essential components of kContact include:

  • kContact is delivered to a parent by a practitioner who has an existing relationship with the parent or who is best placed to develop this relationship and support or deliver the program. It can be delivered face-to-face or by phone.
  • The kContact intervention stages (designed to be of no more than 15 minutes in duration each) are as follows:
  • The planning component consists of: providing an overview of the intervention, discussing the parent’s expectations (including broader goals they hope will come from these visits) and concerns, confirming the parent’s attendance at the visit, and assessing and discussing with the parent what needs their child(ren) have that should be met during the visit, based on parents’ knowledge and experience of their children developmentally.
  • The preparation or previsit planning component (which happens each time a contact visit is scheduled) involves helping the parents identify the goals and aims they would like to achieve during visits with their children and jointly plan activities for the contact visit to reflect these goals, as well as communicate relevant information (such as the child’s recent or upcoming achievements, special events, or activities) to parents before the visit.
  • The follow-up visit component (which happens after each contact visit) involves encouraging parents to reflect on what worked well, with an emphasis on the strengths they could build on, validating parents’ feelings about the visit, including feelings of grief, distress, or anger, and discussing aspects of visits that could be managed differently at subsequent visits.
  • Lastly, the review component (which happens quarterly if contact visits are weekly or monthly, or after a minimum of 2-3 contact visits if visits are less frequent) involves a review of the broader goals of visits and the progress towards those goals from the point of view of children, parents, carers (i.e. resource parents), and relevant professionals. The practitioner can collect the perspectives of these different stakeholders separately or together during a case review meeting.

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

kContact directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Problematic parent interactions and behavior in relation to parent-child supervised contact for children in out-of-home care

Recommended Intensity:

15-minute once-only session with the parent to plan; then 30 minutes around each supervised contact visit (15 minutes before and 15 minutes after each visit); further review sessions (15 minutes) once every 3-4 months

Recommended Duration:

For as long as the supervised visits occur

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Agency


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Phone required to call parents. Room may be required to meet with parents. Existing case file management systems should be used by practitioners to track and record their discussions with parents.

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

There are no minimum educational qualifications to provide the kContact program.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Informal consultation

Number of days/hours:

Informal consultation

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for kContact.

Additional References

Bullen, T., Taplin, S., McArthur, M., Humphreys, C., & Kertesz, M. (2017). Interventions to improve supervised contact visits between children in out of home care and their parents: A systematic review. Child & Family Social Work, 22(2), 822-833. doi:10.1111/cfs.12301

Contact Information

Stephanie Taplin
Title: Associate Professor
Agency/Affiliation: Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University
Website: www.acu.edu.au/658580
Phone: +61 2 6209 1319

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2018

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2018