Whether parents are living together or apart, they have a shared responsibility for their children. Most often, children benefit from regular contact with both parents, regardless of the parents' relationship. FRCoT provides supervision for the benefit of children who may not have that contact without the support and intervention of a neutral person or persons.
What is Supervised Visitation? Supervised Visitation refers to contact between a non-custodial parent and one or more children in the presence of a third person responsible for observing and seeking to ensure the safety of those involved. "Monitored Visitation", "Supervised Child Access", and "Supervised Child Contact" are other terms with the same meaning.
What is Supervised Exchange? Supervised Exchanges, sometimes referred to as "Monitored Exchanges" or "Supervised/Monitored Transfers", is supervision of the transfer of the child from one parent to the other. Supervision is limited to the exchange or transfer only with the remainder of the parent/child contact remaining unsupervised. Most frequently precautions are taken to assure that the two parents or other individuals exchanging the child do not come into contact with one another.
What is the purpose? Both Supervised Visits and Supervised Exchanges are designed to assure that a child can have safe contact with an absent parent without having to be put in the middle of the parents' conflicts or other problems. It is the child's need that is paramount in making any decisions regarding the need for such supervision. However, there are also some significant benefits to parents. It is our hope that no one will look upon supervised visitation or exchange as a negative or stigmatized service. It is a tool that can help families as they go through difficult and/or transitional times. Some of the benefits for the various family members are as follows:
FOR THE CHILDREN:
It allows the children to maintain a relationship with both of their parents, something that is generally found to be an important factor in the positive adjustment to family dissolution.
It allows them to anticipate the visits without stress of worrying about what is going to happen and to enjoy them in a safe, comfortable environment without having to be put in the middle of their parents' conflict and/or other problems.
FOR THE CUSTODIAL PARENTS:
You do not have to communicate or have contact with a person with whom you are in conflict or by whom you might be frightened or intimidated. The arrangements can be made by a neutral party (the visit supervisor) and there does not have to be contact before, during, or after the visits.
You can relax and feel comfortable allowing your child to have contact with the other parent-and can get some valuable time to yourself.
FOR THE NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS:
You can be sure that your contact with your children does not have to be interrupted regardless of any personal or interpersonal problems you may be having.
If allegations have been made against you, which is often the case when supervision is ordered, you can visit without fear of any new accusations because there is someone present who can verify what happened during your time together. When using a professional service, you can also be assured that the supervisors are neutral and objective
Supervision in the case of parental separation: When parents separate, the children most often will have primary residence with one parent and regularly spend time with the other. Visitation, contact, and access are words used to refer to post separation contact with the non-residential parent or another significant person, such as a grandparent, sibling, or other relative. When the courts feel it is appropriate, they may order that such visitation take place in the presence of a third party. Supervised exchanges may be court ordered or arranged by the parent and are generally appropriate when there is no question about the safety of the child but when one or both parents do not feel safe or comfortable interacting directly with the other. It is always better for the child to not be put into a situation where he/she is exposed to the anger and conflict of the parents.
Why is it important to have supervised visitation services in all communities? Children should not have to lose contact with a mother or father just because the parents have dissolved their relationship or because the parents are abusive or for any other reason unable to care for their child.. Research indicates that when there is on-going contact between a child and his or her separated parents, both the child and the parent benefit. The children adjust better to the disruption of their family. The parent is more likely to maintain a feeling of connection to the child and therefore provide on-going physical and emotional support. A parent who has contact is more likely to work toward overcoming barriers to their being a responsible parent. Once contact is lost, the child experiences a feeling of abandonment, and the parent loses much of his/her motivation.
Why not use a friend or relative rather than a professional service, particularly when there is a fee involved? Often there is nothing to prohibit you from using a "non-professional" relative, friend, or acquaintance. Many court orders will allow that as an option providing both parents can agree on who to use. That often does not work out for the following reasons: First and foremost is the difficulty in finding someone on whom you both agree. If you are having sufficient conflict that supervision was deemed necessary, then chances are very slim you will be able to find an individual that both of you will trust and feel comfortable with. Secondly, it puts a real strain on friendships. Many well-meaning friends and relatives will agree to provide the service but will quickly tire of the regular commitment and/or being in the middle of your conflicts. It is difficult for friends and relatives to restrain from taking sides. Once neutrality is lost, then the credibility of the "supervisor" will come into question and much of the feeling of security and safety will be gone. And, finally, it may actually detract from the quality of the parent/child time together. It is often tempting to spend time interacting with the acquaintance rather than focusing on the child. Children may then come to resent the visits because they feel that they are secondary and not primary in the interaction.
allows the parent/child relationship to continue to flourish
reduces friction between parents
prevents further acts of abuse and/or violence toward the child
maintains regular visitation schedules
The goal is to help families move into less supervised visitation opportunities and into unsupervised parent/child activities Supervised visitations are scheduled at times convenient to parent, child and child's guardian and upon availability of Visitation supervisors.
Supervised Visitation Program: Supervised visitation is offered for parents / others when it is determined that visitation with the parent is necessary and in the child's best interest but should be in a controlled environment. FRCoT provides these services by referral when ordered by the courts, Child Protective Services, or other entity with authority. These visits may take place at our facility, in the home or out in community.
Visits are held in our facility. We have a variety of activities, toys, and books. Highly trained-degreed staff members supervise the visits and provide written reports on the parent / child interactions.
Facilitated Exchange Program: FRCoT provides an exchange service for parents who need to exchange their children for weekend/other visitation periods without the need for both parents to be present. This ensures that the child is not caught up in the emotional tug-of-war that often occurs and ensures that visitation is not being unduly withheld by the custodial parent.
Monitored Visitation Program: Monitored visitation is different from Supervised Visitation Program, in that there is less interaction between the supervisor and the parent/child interaction. These visits are in a group context, and not one on one like our Supervised Visitation Program. These visits take place at our facility.
Supervison of Parent-Child Visits and Exchanges
Accurate and Timely Written Reports
Abiity to See and Objectively Evaluate Disparate Matters