Thursday, September 22, 2011

Commonly Asked Questions

For most people, having to have supervised visits or exchanges is an experience that is new and unexpected.  As with any new experience, there are many questions that need to be answered; here are a few of the most common questions and answers:

1.  How does this whole process work?
We try to keep things simple so that visits can get underway.  Over the phone we get a sense for the situation (e.g. frequency, duration and location of visits, how many children, what limits the court has on visits) and just how quickly parties can move forward.  All parties must review, sign and return our contract, provide copies of relevant court orders, and agree on a time/location for the first visit.  The process speed is really up to the parties involved.

2.  Who arranges and supervises the visit?
Our agency can make the arrangements for the visit (time and place) as it is often easier for a third party to make these arrangements.  A professionally licensed social worker will meet the parties at the designated time and location.  This social worker will arrive already briefed on the situation and aware of any restrictions.  It is the goal of the social worker to simply be present to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the child/ren, but not be a central part of the visit.

3.  Do you have a facility for visits?
No. We are a community based agency and therefore we do not have a facility to conduct visits.  We strive to supervise visits wherever parents can agree to have the visits.  Locations can range from a parent's home, to a park/playground, to the zoo/aquarium/movie theater/baseball game, or simply at one of the local beaches.

4.  What if there is a no-contact order, restraining order or domestic violence protection order in place?
Our agency takes these restraints very seriously.  If there are any restraints in place, there will need to be a 10-15 minute window of time between one parent dropping of a child/ren and the other arriving.  There shall be no lingering.

The process can be very simple and very fast when all parties are on board with getting visits underway.  Though a week or two may not seem particularly long to an adult, for a child waiting to see its mother or father, it can feel like a lifetime.

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