Therapeutic Supervised Visitation

What are Therapeutic Supervised Visitations?

Supervised Visitations are typically (not always) court-ordered and allow non-custodial parents or guardians to meet with their children in a safe and controlled environment, with the guidance of a neutral mental health provider, who supervises the visitation and writes a brief report about what took place. Normally, the visitations occur weekly at my office or an agreed upon community location.  Visitations are for a predetermined amount of time. The frequency and duration of these visits are generally decided by a judge, or between attorneys through an agreed order.

 

What is the purpose of Supervised Visitations?

The purpose and goal of supervised visitations is to enable an ongoing relationship between the non-custodial parent and child by impartially observing their contact in a safe and structured environment. I facilitate and maintain appropriate child/parent interaction during supervised contact and allow the judge to make informed decisions, based on the outcome of these visits.

 

Another purpose of supervised visitations is to allow a safe and educational learning experience for the non-custodial parent. If a visitation is occurring and the parent makes a mistake, I am able to intervene and correct the behavior, therefore teaching the parent correct parenting skills.

 

Who needs Therapeutic Supervised Visitations?

Normally high-conflict families who are at risk for domestic violence, physical or verbal abuse, and parents with a history of very poor parenting skills require the use of therapeutic supervised visitation programs. Those who have previous allegations of sexual abuse, who have threatened to abscond with the child, or with a history of severe parental alienation are also generally good candidates for therapeutically supervised visitation.  

 

What kind of safety measures or rules are in place for supervised visitations?

The safety of all parties involved in the visitation is one of the most important factors in creating an effective visitation program. The non-custodial visiting party arrives ten to fifteen minutes prior to the visit, and waits until the supervisor informs them that he/she can leave the office at the end of the visit. This allows the custodial parent to leave and as a result, avoid the possibility of any type of confrontation between the parties occurring in front of the child. Here is a brief list of rules: 

  • Weapons are not allowed in the office of Cindy Chilcote, LCSW, PLLC (pepper spray, knives, guns, taser, any kind of self-defense weapons, etc)

  • No use of crude or foul language

  • No whispering 

  • No note passing

  • No rough play with children

  • No yelling

  • No use of cell phones during visitation

  • No negative conversations or tone of voice regarding either parent or caregiver to child

  • No false promises or statements regarding time sharing arrangements

  • No disrespecting Mrs. Chilcote or children

  • No physical punishment or degrading comments

  • If accusations involve sexual abuse, physical contact will not occur between parent/caregiver and child (i.e. no sitting on the lap, no hugs)

  • Parents should follow instructions of the staff and be respectful

  • No attempt to exit the visitation area with child (see kidnap clause)

  • No introduction of food or toys without proper inspection and disclosure of the items

  • No backpacks, purses, or duffle bags allowed in the visitation area with children

  • Neither party shall speak negatively about the other in front of the child.

  • Neither party shall discuss legal issues or complaints regarding their situation in front of the child.

  • If there is a Protection From Abuse order in effect, it shall be honored.

 

Can the visitation be terminated?

Here is a short list of reasons why a monitored visit would be terminated:

  • Safety concerns or other case issues that cannot be effectively managed by Cindy Chilcote

  • Excessive demand on the provider’s resources

  • The parent’s failure to comply with the conditions or rules for participation in the program

  • Nonpayment of fees

  • Threat of actual violence or abuse

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