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Legal / Terms of use for Contact a Family services

This page contains the following sections:

* - new in February 2009

Terms of Use

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1.Definitions
Access and use of our websites is provided by Contact a Family. References in these Terms to 'we' or 'us' or 'our' refer to Contact a Family. Our websites include www.cafamily.org.uk, lists.cafamily.org.uk, www.free2build.com/stores/cafamily/shophome.php and www.makingcontact.org
2. Modifications
Contact a Family reserves the right to change these Terms at any time. Please check these Terms on a regular basis for changes. Your continued use of the site after changes are posted will mean you accept the Terms as modified by the posted changes.
3. Accessing our websites
Before accessing our websites you should obtain permission to do so from the bill payer/owner of the computer/device you are using. Please note that information sent by e-mail is at your own risk as unfortunately security cannot be guaranteed.
4. Your use of our websites
You agree to use our websites only for lawful purposes, and in a manner that does not infringe the rights of anyone else, nor restrict or inhibit their use and enjoyment of our websites. You undertake to register for any of our services using accurate and current information about yourself and/or your family members - including your correct name, address and any other requested details.
5. Copyright and trademarks
  • a. All material on our websites is the copyright of Contact a Family or third parties. You may view the contents of our websites on screen. Material submitted by users becomes the copyright of Contact a Family. By submitting any material to the content of our websites, you: are representing that you are fully entitled to do so; grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-terminable licence right to copy, modify, distribute, show in public and create derivative works from that material in any form, anywhere; and authorise us to adapt the relevant material in the course of doing so, and so waive your moral rights to object to any derogatory treatment, or to be identified as the author, of the material in question.
    You are permitted to print one copy of reasonable extracts from our websites for your personal use or private study and to save one copy of such reasonable extracts to your local hard disk for your personal use or private study. Apart from this and other than as authorized in Term 5 (b) below, no part of our websites or of any material on them may be reproduced in any form whatsoever or translated without first obtaining the written permission of Contact a Family or any other copyright holder. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, please fill out the request form
  • b. Any material on our websites which is under the copyright of Contact a Family may be reproduced for teaching or study purposes only without obtaining our prior consent. You may print and copy the pages for your private study or for teaching purposes in schools, colleges or universities, provided in each case that:
    • copyright and source indications are also printed and copied
    • no modifications are made to the materials and they are not used as part of any other publication
    • the document is printed and copied entirely and is not used in a derogatory or misleading context
    • a maximum of 30 copies are made.
  • c. If you are not sure whether or not any material can be printed or copied without first obtaining our permission please contact us first via email at info[AT]makingcontact[DOT]org.
  • d. No other use of material in our websites may be made without first obtaining our written permission. In particular, material may not be incorporated in any other work or publication, whether in hard copy or electronic form and commercial use or publication of any material on our websites is strictly prohibited (other than as necessary for the purpose of viewing the site in the course of business).
  • e. If you wish to use any material on our websites other than in accordance with Term 5 (b) above please e-mail your request via the request form
6. Disclaimer
Contact a Family has tried to ensure that the contents of our websites are accurate. However, Contact a Family does not represent or warrant that the information accessible via our websites is accurate, complete or up to date. Price and availability of information is subject to change without notice. Our websites are made available for public use solely on the basis that Contact a Family excludes to the extent lawfully permitted all liability whatsoever for any loss or damage arising out of use of our websites or reliance upon their contents. Contact a Family is not a medical organisation, therefore we can only provide general information that is not intended to be a substitute for a proper medical assessment. If you have a specific question about a condition, we recommend that you obtain further information from your medical practitioner. The information contained on our websites was correct at the time of writing. However, due to research and medical advances, the content may not be completely up to date.
7. Disruption
We do not warrant that the functions contained in our websites will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that our websites or the servers that make them available are free of viruses or bugs or represent full functionality, accuracy or reliability of the materials. We cannot accept any liability for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or your computer system which may occur as a result of you using our websites. There may also be times when our services become inaccessible as a result of technical difficulties experienced by Contact a Family or on the Internet; we will, however, use reasonable skill and care to overcome these difficulties where they are within our control. Please note that there will be no refund of fees for withdrawal, modification or unavailability of our services. For security or other reasons, we may require you to change password or other information which facilitates access to our services.
8. Misuse of our services
We reserve the right in our sole discretion to deny any user access to our websites or any part of them without prior notice. We also reserve the right to edit, or require a user to edit, material posted by them on our websites, if the relevant user or material appears to us to be in breach of any provision of these Terms. Any person whose access has been suspended or terminated must not re-register for, or re-access, our websites without our prior consent. You are responsible for everything which is done on or through our services while you are logged on to our service or through your e-mail addresses.
9. The Users Role
Users must not include an e-mail address, postal address, phone number, the address of any website, or any other information which is intended to facilitate direct communication, in material which is posted via our services. Users must not place material on, or otherwise use, our services for any business or commercial purpose. Users must not use their access to our services, or information gathered from it, for the sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail (sometimes known as spam). You are responsible for ensuring that no material you post, or which is posted through a machine on which you access our services, nor any activity or communication you make in connection with any of our services, will be capable of (a) infringing the intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity, (b) breaching any applicable law, whether criminal, tortious or otherwise, or (c) appearing to be offensive, threatening, obscene, pornographic, false, unreliable or misleading.
10. Contact a Family's Role
You acknowledge that we are not and cannot be responsible for the behaviour of users of our websites. We only provide a venue where our services may be accessed. In particular, you should be aware that Contact a Family cannot pre-screen or monitor all the material contributed by users.
11. Control of links to other sites
Our websites may contain links to other websites. Such links are provided for your convenience only. Contact a Family does not control such websites and is not responsible for their contents. The mere inclusion of such links does not imply any endorsement of the material on those websites or any association with their operators. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all the time and Contact a Family has no control over the availability of the linked pages.
12. Requests for links from other sites
If you only wish to link to a maximum of three pages on this site then you do not need to request permission. For descriptive text to accompany the link we suggest the following: 'Contact a Family is a UK-wide charity providing support, advice and information for families with disabled children. The charity publishes a Directory of Specific Conditions and Rare Disorders and provides developmental advice to local and national family support groups.' or 'MakingContact.org is a service provided by Contact a Family ( a UK Charity which helps families with disabled children). The services aims to put those affected by disability in touch with each other in a secure and safe environment.'
13. Payment
If you are asked for, and provide, details of a credit, debit or charge card; in that event, you must ensure that (a) you are fully entitled to use that card, and (b) it has available funds sufficient to cover the charges which are deducted from it. As part of the payment process, you will receive a verification e-mail, the purpose of which is to take reasonable steps to ensure that the e-mail address you have nominated during payment is controlled by you.
14. Privacy policy
Contact a Family's Privacy statement forms part of these Terms of Use.
15. Reporting Abuse
If you see anything on our service which appears to infringe these Terms, then please e-mail:report [DOT] abuse [AT] cafamily [DOT] org [DOT] uk . We do not generally monitor material contributed by users before it is placed on our websites, and so we are reliant upon users to point out any which infringes these Terms.
16. Disclaimer and Release
Contact a Family has no control over or responsibility for the truth or accuracy of any material available on our services, whether provided by users or others. You should exercise no lesser degree of caution in appraising what you see on our service than you do off-line. Even though users are prohibited from doing so, people may provide information, or otherwise behave, in a way that is unreliable, misleading or even illegal. Further, you should note that people may not necessarily be who they say they are. Your use of our services is entirely at your own risk. Accordingly, to the extent that the law permits, you release Contact a Family, its directors, contractors and employees from all liability arising out of or in connection with our services and the material included on our websites by users and other third parties.
17. Other terms
If there is any conflict between these Terms and any rules or specific terms of use appearing elsewhere on this site relating to specific material, then those specific terms or rules shall prevail.
18. Illegal terms
If any of these Terms should be determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable by reason of the laws of any state or country in which these Terms are intended to be effective, then to the extent and within that jurisdiction in which that Term is illegal, invalid or unenforceable, it shall be severed and deleted from these Terms and the remaining terms shall survive, remain in full force and effect and continue to be binding and enforceable.
19. Law
These Terms and use of our websites shall be governed by English law. All claims or disputes arising out of or in connection with our websites shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England. However, Contact a Family shall have the right to commence and prosecute any legal or equitable action or proceeding before any court of competent jurisdiction to obtain injunctive and other relief in respect of the infringement of intellectual property rights.
20. Keeping these Terms of Use
We don't separately file the individual Terms of Use entered into by users when they visit our websites. You can access them at http://www.makingcontact.org/weblegal.html. Please make a durable copy of these Terms by printing and/or saving a downloaded copy on your own computer.

Additional Terms for MakingContact.org

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1. Introduction
This Agreement is a legal document which sets out your rights and obligations, and those of Contact a Family, a company registered in England under registration no. 1633333 ('Contact a Family', 'MakingContact.org', 'we' or 'us'), in relation to this site and the services offered by Contact a Family through it (the 'MakingContact.org Service'). You must take the time to read and understand it, before registering for the MakingContact.org Service. By registering, you accept that you are entering into a contract with us on the terms of this Agreement. Visitors to the MakingContact.org Service who do not register to become a Member (see 2 below) similarly affirm that they are bound by this Agreement each time they access the MakingContact.org Service. You should be aware that this Agreement may change from time to time in accordance with Clause 23 below.
2. Membership
People who register for the MakingContact.org Service become 'Members'. They must be at least 18 years of age.
Members of this service may:
  • post their details on the MakingContact.org Service;
  • receive emailed messages, which will be sent to the email address you specified in the About You section during Registration or any subsequently notified update.
  • opt to receive emails selected under Conditions Management as notification of when a new Member has registered under a specified condition.
  • send email messages to anyone registered for this service. The number of email conversations you are able to start is limited to a maximum of five per day to reduce the risk of the MakingContact.org Service being used for spam.
  • We are not an internet service provider, however. In order to avail of the MakingContact.org Service, you must have internet access and all the software (and skills) required for email and web usage.
3. Registration
You undertake to register for the MakingContact.org Service using accurate and current information about yourself - including your correct name, address and any other requested details. As part of the registration process for the MakingContact.org Service, you will receive a verification email, the purpose of which is to take reasonable steps to ensure that the email address you have nominated during registration is controlled by you. That email contains simple instructions which you must follow.
4. Privacy policy
MakingContact.org's Privacy Policy forms part of this Agreement, and by agreeing to this Agreement, you also give your consent to the way we may handle your personal data in that policy. Given the global nature of the World Wide Web, any posting on the MakingContact.org Service (including any which contain personal information) is, of course, accessible to internet users around the world.
5. MakingContact.org's Role
You, whether you are a Member or just a non-Member who visits the MakingContact.org Service, acknowledge that we are not and cannot be responsible for the behaviour of Members - whether on the MakingContact.org Service or outside of it. We only provide a venue where the MakingContact.org Service may be accessed. In particular, you should be aware that MakingContact.org does not pre-screen or monitor the material contributed by Members.
6. Additional Services
Contact a Family may offer new or additional services through the MakingContact.org Service from time to time. Your use of those services may be subject to additional terms and conditions, or rules of use, which you must comply with. Provided that those terms or rules are notified to you on the MakingContact.org Service in an appropriate manner (as determined by MakingContact.org in its reasonable discretion), any failure by you to comply with a material provision of the terms or rules governing those services will amount to a breach of this Agreement.
7. Operation of MakingContact.org Services
Contact a Family reserves the right to withdraw or modify one or more aspects of the MakingContact.org Service, or the entirety of it, where we have legal or commercial reasons to do so. There may also be times when the MakingContact.org Service becomes inaccessible as a result of technical difficulties experienced by MakingContact.org or on the Internet; we will, however, use reasonable skill and care to overcome these difficulties where they are within our control. For security or other reasons, we may require you to change password or other information which facilitates access to the MakingContact.org Service.
8. Misuse of MakingContact.org Service
We reserve the right (a) to suspend or terminate any Member's access to the MakingContact.org Service, or parts of it, and/or (b) to edit, or require the Member to edit, material posted on the MakingContact.org Service, if the relevant Member or material appears to us to be in breach of any provision of this Agreement. Any person whose access has been suspended or terminated must not re-register for, or re-access, the MakingContact.org Service without our prior consent. You are responsible for everything which is done on or through the MakingContact.org Service while your Membership account is logged on to the MakingContact.org Service, or through your email addresses.
9. Relevance
The MakingContact.org Service is intended to be used by its Members for the purposes referred to in Clause 2 above. Accordingly, Members must not:
  • include an email address, postal address, phone number, the address of any website, or any other information which is intended to facilitate direct communication, in material which is posted on the MakingContact.org Service - Members can share this information, should they wish, once direct contact has been made;
  • place material on, or otherwise use, the MakingContact.org Service for any business or commercial purpose; or
  • use your access to the MakingContact.org Service, or information gathered from it, for the sending of unsolicited bulk email (sometimes known as spam).
10. Fees
This service is currently provided free of charge. However, we may add new or ancillary services from time to time which require the payment of fees - either to us or a nominated third party - on terms which will be provided to you at the time.
11. Prohibitions
You are responsible for ensuring that no material you post, or which is posted through a machine on which you access the MakingContact.org Service, nor any activity or communication you make in connection with any MakingContact.org Service, will be capable of (a) infringing the intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity, (b) breaching any applicable law, whether criminal, tortious or otherwise, or (c) appearing to be offensive, threatening, obscene, pornographic, false, unreliable or misleading.
12. Alerting MakingContact.org
If you see anything on the MakingContact.org Service which appears to infringe this Agreement, then please contact us to inform us of it by emailing:
13. Withdrawal of material and Termination of Membership
Each Member acknowledges that we are entitled to withdraw any material on the MakingContact.org Service which appears whether based on information received from Members or others, or our own determination to be capable of breaching any part of this Agreement, or to bring the MakingContact.org Service into disrepute. However, each user acknowledges that we do not monitor material which appears on the MakingContact.org Service, and that we are reliant upon you and all users to notify us of anything you see here which appears likely to breach this Agreement, using the notification techniques which are made available on the MakingContact.org Service.
14. Disclaimer and Release
MakingContact.org has no control over or responsibility for the truth or accuracy of any material available on the MakingContact.org Service, whether provided by Members or others. If any third party sites are linked to from the MakingContact.org Service, this does not mean that we endorse or have any responsibility for the site in question or anything which appears on it.
You should exercise no lesser degree of caution in appraising what you see on the MakingContact.org Service than you do off-line.
Even though Members are prohibited from doing so, people may provide information, or otherwise behave, in a way that is unreliable, misleading or even illegal. Further, you should note that people may not necessarily be who they say they are.
Your use of the MakingContact.org Service is entirely at your own risk.
Accordingly, to the extent that the law permits, you release MakingContact.org its directors, contractors and employees from all liability arising out of or in connection with the MakingContact.org Service and the material included here by Members and other third parties.
15. Intellectual property
You acknowledge that all copyright, trade marks, and other intellectual property rights in and relating to the MakingContact.org Service (including the material which is contributed by Members) are owned by Contact a Family. It is easy to copy material which appears on web-sites, but this does not mean it is legal. Therefore, no-one may copy, distribute, show in public or create any derivative work from the MakingContact.org Service, or any of the material which is found on the MakingContact.org Service unless properly licensed to do so by us.
By submitting any material to the content to the MakingContact.org Service, you:
  • are representing that you are fully entitled to do so;
  • grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-terminable licence right to copy, modify, distribute, show in public and create derivative works from that material in any form, anywhere; and
  • authorise us to adapt the relevant material in the course of doing so, and so waive your moral rights to object to any derogatory treatment, or to be identified as the author, of the material in question.
16. Excluded loss
We will not be liable to you or any third party for any indirect or consequential loss or damage, or for any loss of data, profit, revenue or business, howsoever caused (whether arising out of any negligence or breach of this Agreement or otherwise). MakingContact.org will also not be liable for any failure to perform of its obligations under this Agreement caused by matters beyond its reasonable control.
17. Maximum liability
Without limiting the preceding Clause, during any period of twelve months, the aggregate liability of MakingContact.org under this Agreement (whether arising in negligence or otherwise) will not under any circumstances exceed the greater of (a) £5, or (b) an amount equal to the sums paid by you to us by way of Gold Membership fees during the relevant period of twelve months, regardless of the cause or form of action.
18. Non-excluded Liabilities.
Nothing in this Agreement limits MakingContact.org's liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence, or any other liability which may not by law be excluded. Any statutory rights you may have as a consumer remain unaffected.
19. Indemnity
You agree to indemnify us against all liabilities, claims and expenses that may arise from any breach of this Agreement by you or through a machine on which you access the MakingContact.org Service.
20. Assignment
We reserve the right to assign this Agreement, and to assign or subcontract any or all of our rights and obligations under this Agreement. You may not without the written consent of MakingContact.org assign or dispose of this Agreement.
21. Entire Agreement
This Agreement includes our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy . Together they contain the whole of the agreement between us and you concerning the MakingContact.org Service and they replace all earlier agreements and understandings with you, except for any fraud or fraudulent representation by either of us. A person who is not a party to this Agreement has no right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to rely upon or enforce any term of this Agreement.
22. Changes to this agreement
Contact a Family reserves the right to change this Agreement from time to time, and post the new version on the MakingContact.org Service. The new version of these terms and conditions will govern all MakingContact.org Services and your relationship with MakingContact.org:
  • commencing four weeks after the date of posting (or such later date as MakingContact.org indicates in the relevant posting), if any of the changes is to an operative provision of this Agreement which is capable of adversely affecting you; if you do not wish to be governed by the new version of the Agreement, you may notify us on or before the date when the new version of the Agreement is to take effect, and from that date you must cease to use the MakingContact.org Service; or
  • immediately upon the date of posting (or such later date as MakingContact.org indicates in the relevant posting), if the changes are not to operative provisions, or not capable of adversely affecting you - examples of which would include, without limitation, changes to one or more of MakingContact.org's addresses or email addresses referred to in this Agreement.
23. Severability
In the event that any term of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable by judicial decree or decision, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain valid and enforceable.
24. Law
This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales .
25. Keeping this agreement
We don't separately file the individual Agreements entered into by members when they register for the MakingContact.org Service. You can access them at http://www.makingcontact.org/weblegal.html. Please make a durable copy of this Agreement by printing and/or saving a downloaded copy on your own computer.
26. Contact
You can contact us by post at Contact a Family, 209-211 City Road, London EC1V 1JN or telephone 0207 608 8700 or email info[AT]makingcontact[DOT]org.

Privacy Statement

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Contact a Family is committed to protecting the privacy of those who register with and others who visit our websites. Any personal details you supply to Contact a Family via e-mail from our websites, including any sensitive data, will only be used by Contact a Family and will not be made available to any Third Party without permission. However, you should be aware that if you use standard e-mail for communication with Contact a Family, we cannot guarantee that it remains confidential whilst in transit.

Given the global nature of the World Wide Web and with the exception of your real name and e-mail address ( which remain accessible only to you and authorised Contact a Family Staff ) any posting within this site by you is, of course, accessible to internet users around the world. You are advised not to include direct references to real people, dates of birth, institutions or organisations within the fields of your registration that could lead to identification of individuals.

This privacy policy only covers our own websites; links within this site to external websites are not covered by this policy.

Additional terms for the forums

The Contact a Family message boards have been established for any parent or family member caring for a disabled child whatever their condition or health need. Everyone’s experiences and feelings are valid and we would ask you to be respectful.

General guidelines
  • This is an ideal forum to share your experiences and offer support to others on any issue around having a disabled child. It is appropriate to share positive and negative experiences on these message boards, however, if you wish to criticize particular services or individuals, do not name them or refer to them specifically. If you do, you may find yourself liable to legal action and Contact a Family will take no responsibility for this. Contact a Family reserves the right to remove or edit any posting that does not comply with this guideline.
  • Messages are not moderated before they posted. If you have any doubts about postings on the message boards, please email info [AT] makingcontact [DOT] org or call 020 7608 8700 and ask for the MakingContact.org Administrator. Please do not publicly voice your concerns.
  • Please be sensitive in how you share your experiences with others. Don't make statements about what other families should and shouldn't do and please don't make judgements about other people and the way they do things.
  • Any posts that are abusive, offensive, discriminate against another family's ethnic background, culture, religion, age, sex, sexuality, class, disability or political beliefs will be removed. Posts that do not comply with this guideline will be removed and the offender will be banned from the message board.
  • Contact a Family reserves the right to archive any posts that have been inactive for six months or more.
Privacy, private messaging and emails
  • This is an open forum which can be viewed by anyone using the internet, without them actually being a member of MakingContact.org. Contact a Family does not advise posting your personal details, such as your telephone number, home address or email address, on the message boards or any information that could lead to your identification. When registering with the site, users are not vetted in any way. We have no means of checking who people actually are, and so it is important that you exercise caution when dealing with people that you have never met before. As you would if meeting someone on the bus for the first time.
  • All emails sent from one Member to another via MakingContact.org have the personal email details removed from the sender box so other users will only see your username and will not have your private email address unless you choose to tell them in the body of your message to them.

  • Contact a Family can only investigate complaints of abuse or harassment carried out on its message boards or by users of MakingContact.org. Contact a Family is not responsible for and will not investigate inappropriate behaviour on other message boards, MSN or services NOT provided by Contact a Family.
Basic etiquette
  • Avoid sending messages written in capital letters. Writing in capital letters is considered ‘shouting’ online and makes posts difficult to read.
  • Try not to use abbreviations or ‘text speak’. Some people might not understand you and you may cause unintentional offence.
  • Do use punctuation and paragraphs in your posts. Large blocks of text with long sentences, and no commas or full stops, can be confusing and difficult to read and may lead someone to misunderstand what you want to say.
  • It is all too easy for the tone and meaning of posts to be misinterpreted. Often things written rather than said can feel much stronger, do bear this in mind when reading other people’s messages. The use of smileys can help with indicating tone but is still not foolproof.
  • At no point is swearing or inappropriate word usage allowed on the message boards. The use of swear words has been blocked from the message boards. Contact a Family reserves the right to edit the thread of any conversation, without warning, if a user is found to be swearing or using inappropriate language or symbols during their conversations.
  • Contact a Family reserves the right to take whatever action is necessary to ensure the message boards are a safe and supportive place for all its users. Posts which are made at times when the boards are not being moderated, for example, evenings, weekends or over holiday periods, that appear to be deliberately inappropriate or inflammatory will result in the users’ account being suspended and reviewed.
  • To make sure that postings are as easy to read as possible, Contact a Family does not allow the use of ‘tickers’, glittery signatures or photos within signatures or posts. Anyone posting these will be asked to remove them.
Other activities
  • Please restrict posts to issues relevant to having a disabled child. Posts considered inappropriate will be deleted, and an e-mail will be sent to the member explaining our actions.
  • The message boards are not to be used to advertise any websites, products and/or services. Any posts deemed to be advertising will be removed. However, it is fine if parents suggest products or services in response to an enquiry from another parent, for example, sourcing equipment, accessible holiday venues etc.
  • Copyright
    • Do not post anything you do not have the right to publish or which violates copyright. This also includes copying the Contact a Family logo without permission.
    Fundraising, advertising and research
    • The primary purpose of the Contact a Family message boards is to act as a source of information, support and advice. It is not acceptable to use the Contact a Family forum to sell tickets or promote fundraising events for other organisations. These postings will be removed by the MakingContact.org Administrator.
    • The message boards are not to be used to advertise any websites, products and/or services. Any posts considered to be advertising will be removed. It is acceptable for parents to suggest products or services in response to an enquiry from another parent, for example, sourcing equipment, accessible holiday venues etc.
    • This is not an appropriate forum for students or health professionals to make requests for information or help with research projects. Anyone wishing to contact parents whose children are affected by a specific condition to take part in any research or consultation should do so by contacting the support groups that work with families who have that specific condition. Contact a Family offers other ways that this information can be disseminated. Email info [AT] makingcontact [DOT] org in the first instance or call 020 7608 8700 and ask for the MakingContact.org Administrator.
    • DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed on the Contact a Family message boards are those of the author and not necessarily of Contact a Family.

    Disciplinary procedure

    Policy and procedure
    • Contact a Family strives to achieve a high standard of service. It is, therefore, important that the members of the message boards adhere to the MakingContact.org guidelines.
    • Occasionally it is necessary to take action when the MakingContact.org guidelines are breached. The disciplinary procedure is designed to ensure that when this occurs, individuals are treated fairly and consistently.
    • Issues of discipline and misconduct will be dealt with by the MakingContact.org Administrator. In the first place, you may appeal any disciplinary actions in writing to the MakingContact.org Administrator within 10 days of that action being taken.

    If a user breaches the guidelines the following warnings may apply:

    Informal warnings
    • A minor breach of the MakingContact.org guidelines may result in the message thread being edited or deleted. You will be notified of the reasons behind this action by the MakingContact.org Administrator.
    • An informal warning will be recorded by the MakingContact.org Administrator. You will be advised of the reason for the warning and that it constitutes the first stage of the disciplinary procedure and your right to appeal.
    • An informal warning will resolve most difficulties. If you commit a more serious breach of the MakingContact.org guidelines or fail to improve and maintain any improvement with regard to conduct, or behaviour then the following formal steps may be taken.
    Formal warnings
    • Your actions will be reviewed by the MakingContact.org Adminsitrator and the Director of Policy and Communications, in order to discuss the breach of the Contact a Family Guidelines and its seriousness.
    • In the case of a more serious breach of the MakingContact.org, you will be given a formal warning. This will state:
      • Details of the misconduct or complaint that has led to the formal warning;
      • Details of any action you need to take to remedy the situation and any period of review by Contact a Family;
      • The period of time the formal warning will remain active on your personal file for disciplinary purposes; and
      • That any further misconduct of any kind will result in deactivation of your MakingContact.org account.
    • The final decision to ban MakingConctact.org members can only be taken by the MakingContact.org Administrator in conjunction with senior management.
    Deactivation of your MakingContact.org account
    • If it is established, after investigation, that there has been an act of gross misconduct which may cause offence or distress to others your account may be deactivated.
    • Gross misconduct includes (but is not limited to):
      • Fraud and deliberate falsification of records.
      • Serious negligence (even a single error where the actual or potential consequences are extremely serious), which causes, or is likely to cause, unacceptable loss, damage or injury.
      • Persistent failure to comply with the MakingContact.org guidelines, the Contact a Family Disciplinary Procedure and/or any other policies or procedures that Contact a Family may impose from time to time.
      • Breach of confidential information.
      • Deliberate or negligent damage to Contact a Family’s property (such as viruses or inappropriate links).
      • Disorderly or indecent conduct.
      • Acts of incitement or actual acts of discrimination or harassment on the grounds of sex, trans-gender status, marital status, civil partnership status, pregnancy, colour, race, nationality, national origins, ethnic origins, religion or belief, religious practices, sexual orientation, disability or age.
      • Misuse of Contact a Family’s computer system, including misuse of email.
      • Messages which are abusive, offensive, defamatory, threatening, obscene, harassing, harmful, inflammatory, or racist, or contain illegal material, or discriminate against another parent's ethnic background, culture, religion, age, sex, sexuality, class, disability or political beliefs.
    Suspension
    • You may, at Contact a Family’s discretion, be suspended while the circumstances of any complaint or allegation is investigated.
    • In cases of potential gross misconduct, suspension will be automatic, in order to prevent any further damage.
    • Suspension does not mean a person is guilty, but is used in order to allow Contact a Family to properly investigate the conduct in question.
    Complaint

    Contact a Family wishes to enforce its rules and procedures regarding disciplinary matters and standards of performance as fairly and consistently as possible. To further this aim, where a message board member has received a warning, or their account has been deactivated in accordance with the disciplinary procedure, a complaint should be put in writing to the member of staff’s immediate line manager. The name of this person can be obtained from the member of staff or complainants can be advised as to the responsible member of staff by ringing the organisation’s Human Resources team at the organisations head office or, alternatively, the correspondence will be directed to the relevant person on receipt of the complaint by the Human Resources team at Head Office.

    Correspondence should be sent to:

    Contact a Family
    209-211 City Road
    London
    EC1V 1JN
    Tel: 020 7608 8700
    Fax: 020 7608 8701
    Email: info [AT] cafamily [DOT] org [DOT] uk

    The complaint will be acknowledged by the respondent within 5 working days of receipt and a full response will be sent within 10 working days. Should the investigation of the complaint require the involvement of third parties, a holding response will be sent within 10 working days, confirming a date by which a full response will be given.

    The person hearing the complaint may take written and or verbal submissions which could involve face to face meetings. The complaint will be heard by the person’s immediate line manager.

    Should you not be satisfied with the response received, you can appeal against the decision.

    Appeal process
    • A complainant may appeal against a decision against a complaint, in writing, stating the grounds for the appeal, to the member of the Senior Management Team (“SMT”) who is responsible for the service about which the complaint is being made. This appeal must be received within 10 working days of receipt of the letter outlining the decision made in the complaint process.
    • The only grounds for appeal are:
      • New evidence becoming available
      • Failure to follow the above procedure correctly
      • Disputing the reasonableness of the outcome of a complaint
    • If an SMT member is involved in hearing the complaint then the Chief Executive will be responsible for hearing the appeal.
    • As in the complaint process the complaint may take written and or verbal submissions which may involve face to face meetings.
    • The decision of the relevant SMT member/Chief Executive in the matter will be final.
    • All appeals will be responded to within 20 working days of receipt.
Recording complaints
  • All information regarding formal complaints will be kept as a confidential written record by the individual handling the complaint.
  • A central record of complaints will be kept by the Human Resources team who will make regular reports to the Trustees relating to the number, nature and outcome of complaints, as well as the organisation’s ability to respond within the timescales set down within the Complaints Procedure.
  • The appeal should be made in writing, stating the ground(s) on which you believe the disciplinary process has been conducted unfairly or why you believe the disciplinary penalty should be reviewed.
What action may be taken in light of the review?
Where an appeal against de-activation of a member's account or banning of a member fails, the effective date of termination will be the date on which your account was originally deactivated, or the date you were originally banned.

The following information does not form part of the Terms of Use.

Using Smartphones

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It has come to our attention that a small number of people are using their smartphones to access MakingContact.org. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the site works fully using all options for browsers and technology, a few people have been unable to reply to messages using some smartphone devices. We apologise if this causes you any inconvenience and hope to be able to resolve this issue in the future. In the meantime, please use either a desktop computer or laptop to reply to your messages.

Cookies

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What are cookies?
In Internet terms, cookies are small text files used in a wide range of websites which are stored locally on your PC. They generally contain information about your visits to the relevant site. Sometimes if you have to login to a website you may see a checkbox which says 'Remember me next time' - this generally sends a cookie to your PC which contains your login name.
Where are cookies used in MakingContact.org?
We use cookies in two ways on this website:

1. To keep track of your current login status. This cookie is deleted as soon as you leave the site.

2. To enable the site to remember you when you come back next time so you don't have to log in every time you visit. This cookie is used only if you explicitly request it after logging in.

Note that neither of these cookies negate the fact that you have to supply a password whenever you want to alter your own details or contact another member.

Why do we use cookies?
1. When you login we use the first cookie (known as a 'session cookie') to keep track of the fact you have logged in. This enhances security and means you don't have to log in for every page you visit.

2. If you wish it, the site can store a cookie on your PC so that you don't have to login each time you visit. This enables 'my details' link on the menu which takes you direct to your full details as registered and which is only available to your PC.

At no time do we store or retrieve any information other than that described above. No personal information about you is stored on our websites or within cookies. We never pass any information we may have about you or your visits to this site to anybody else.

How to ensure cookies are allowed on your browser.
Cookies will work only if your browser allows them. Most browsers come already allowing cookies of the type we use but some are set to block them and this may lead to problems such as a failure to correctly recognise your login status.

Below we describe how to allow cookies in various types of browser. Select the browser you use and follow the instructions to check your settings allow cookies. Note that because of the frequency with which web browser software is updated, and consequently these instructions, we are only able to provide this information is English.

Note that this information is meant as a guide only. If you encounter problems setting your browser to allow cookies or your browser is not listed here, we advise you to check the help files for your browser or to contact the customer support of the browser producers.

In Internet Explorer 7 or 8

  1. Select Tools > Internet Options.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. Click Advanced
  4. In the Advanced Privacy Settings window, select Override automatic cookie handling
  5. Select the Accept option under First-party Cookies and Third-party Cookies.
  6. Click OK to exit.

In Mozilla Firefox 14.0

Note: Cookies are enabled by default in Firefox

  1. On the menu bar, select Firefox > Preferences > Privacy.
  2. Set Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history.
  3. Check mark Accept cookies from sites to enable Cookies.
  4. Click OK.

In Chrome 21.0

  1. Click the "Spanner" icon in the top right of the browser window
  2. Click Settings and then Show advanced settings
  3. In the section titled Privacy click the button Content settings
  4. Select Allow local data to be set.

In Safari 6.0

  1. Select Safari > Preferences > Privacy.
  2. In the Block Cookies section select Never.
  3. Close the window to exit out.
In Opera 10

  1. On the browser menu, go to Tools and select Preferences.
  2. Then click on the Advanced tab and in the left hand menu select Cookies.
  3. Select "Accept cookies" and click OK.

Donations

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If you make a donation to Contact a Family through any of our websites the information you supply about yourself will be kept securely on an internal database for financial purposes. You can choose not to receive any further information from us and your details will not be passed on to any other person or organisation.

Linking to websites from MakingContact.org

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We do not provide links to external sites from this website. Our main website http://www.cafamily.org.uk does: see http://www.cafamily.org.uk/weblegal.html#Linking for further details.

Feedback

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We welcome your comments about any of our sites. Please e-mail info [AT] makingcontact [DOT] org

Complaints

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If you wish to complain about any aspect of Contact a Family's service, please e-mail info [AT] makingcontact [DOT] org who will be pleased to explain our established complaints procedure.

Advertising and Sponsorship

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Contact a Family is a charity funded by voluntary contributions and by donations and grants from trusts, companies and statutory bodies. Where sponsorship has been received, this is gratefully acknowledged on our website. Any advertisements are accepted on a commercial basis but are subject to our internal ethics policy. Contact a Family cannot accept responsibility for any goods or services supplied by advertisers or sponsors. All Contact a Family information is editorially independent and is not influenced by sponsors or advertisers.

© MakingContact.org 2017
Contact a Family, 209-211 City Road, London EC1V 1JN
Tel: (020) 7608 8700

Registered Charity No. 284912. Company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales No. 1633333.
HM Revenue & Customs charity tax reference No. XN54769.
VAT Reg. No. GB 749 3846 82