Oaktree Resource Centre for children in care

Supporting children and families

We support children in care by providing a safe place for them to meet members of their birth family, and others who have been important in their lives.

It is in the best interest of most children to maintain links with their family. Contact can:

  • preserve a child's sense of origin
  • keep open the possibility of family relationships later in life

We provide in a choice of activities at the centre to help individual children and young people develop social skills and personal awareness in relationships. Further support is given by independent workers trained in techniques such as art and play therapy. These can help foster carers and birth families where behaviour may be disruptive to a child's placement in care.

Contact in the community can be agreed for older children and their families after care proceedings have been completed.

Arranging contact

Contact must be arranged by referral from a social worker. We try to organise a meeting time that pleases everybody, although this can be difficult. It is important for us to find a time that's in the best interests of the child.

We work with social workers and solicitors to agree:

  • how many times contact is allowed each week, month or year
  • how long the contact meetings can last
  • whether contact in the community is appropriate

These arrangements are then formally decided in the law courts.

Our rooms

Oaktree Resource Centre has:

  • 6 contact rooms
  • 4 therapeutic rooms
  • a meeting room
  • a soft play area
  • a garden
  • a kitchen

Our contact rooms are designed to help families communicate and share experiences. They have:

  • soft furnishings
  • tables to eat at
  • a selection of childhood toys and games

Therapeutic rooms are in a quiet location and have specialist materials to help build personal relationships.

All rooms can be hired for a small cost.

Oaktree Resource Centre
62-64, Hogg Lane, Grays, RM17 5QS

: 01375 652 700

: oaktree@thurrock.gov.uk