What are Supervised Visitations & Exchanges?
Supervised Visitation refers to contact between a non-custodial parent and one or more children while in the presence of a third person responsible for observing and ensuring the safety of those involved, most importantly the child or children. Supervised Exchanges is when a third person oversees the transfer of the child from one parent to the other. Supervision is limited to the exchange or transfer only, while the remainder of the parent/child contact or visit is unsupervised.
With safety as the top priority, the Supervised Visitation and Exchange model is designed to, first and foremost, protect the children and ensure that they have safe contacts and interactions with one or both absent parents. We are also aiming to protect any child from put being in the middle of the parents’ conflicts. In addition to benefitting the child, there are significant benefits to the parents as well. Overall, this program has proven to be paramount in helping families as they transition through difficult times. Here is how this service can benefit all those involved:
For the Children:
This program encourages and allows children to maintain a relationship with their parent or parents. We have found that this is an extremely important component in the positive adjustment to their family’s situation.
The children typically anticipate these scheduled visits and knowing they will soon see their parents usually lessens the amount of stress and worry about what is going to happen in the future. They are also able to enjoy time with parents in a safe and comfortable environment, without having to be put in the middle of their parents’ conflicts or problems.
For the Custodial Parents/Caregivers:
Scheduled visits can be arranged by a neutral party (the Visitation Supervisor) without any contact between the custodial parents and non-custodial parents before, during, or after visits. Rest assured that we aim to protect all parties involved, meaning if there is tension or conflict, we can serve as the middle person so contact or communication is eliminated all together.
No person should feel frightened or intimidated by these visits. We aim to make sure all caregivers or custodial parents feel comfortable in these situations. This is also a time when caregivers can go run errands or have some time to themselves.
For the Non-Custodial Parents:
Supervised Visitations ensure that regular, scheduled contact with the child or children is uninterrupted, regardless of any personal or interpersonal problems.
If allegations have been made against the parent or parents, which is often the case when supervision is ordered, this is a secure way for them to have contact with the child or children without fear of any new accusations. A third party – the Visitation Supervisor – will be present at all times and able to verify through detailed documentation exactly what happened during the visit. Rest assured that supervisors are neutral and objective and ultimately have the family’s best interest at heart.
HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?
First, we will conduct an orientation with the custodial parents and the non-custodial parents to determine each family’s unique circumstances, situations, and needs. Visitation will then be scheduled based on the availability of our staff and each family’s schedule. These may last anywhere between one to four hours and can occur anytime during operating hours of our facilities (in Forsyth, Hall, or Floyd counties). Visitation rooms are designed to host children of all ages and parents in a safe, comfortable, and inviting environment.
Keep in mind that each family comes to us with their own unique story and situation. Therefore each family has their own unique individualized care plan.
IS THERE A COST?
We offer a variety of options for families that may or may not have a cost associated. If a family qualifies for one of our special programs, there may not be any cost to utilize our programs and services. These are typically related to domestic violence cases or involvement with the Juvenile Court. Please contact us for more information about our rates.
HOW TO GET STARTED?
Or you may call our Forsyth Family Life Center and Restoration Center at 770-886-9505 ext. 0.