Supervised Visitation is a service that allows for 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.
Supervised Visits 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.
Safety of the child(ren) is held as our primary concern. Staff shall ensure, to the best of their ability, that an individualized plan is implemented that will address the parent, child(ren), and family’s specific needs. Staff will make every reasonable effort to assure the safety and welfare of the child and adults during the visitation.
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 the 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 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. You can also be assured that the supervisors are neutral and objective.
Family Service & Children’s Aid Society has a facility to observe parent/child interactions with minimal interference: the third floor of the Carone Center has a two-way mirror that will allow for the parent and child to interact with the provider observing from the adjoining room. This will enable the parent and child to have some sense of privacy while ensuring the safety of the child.
In addition, there is a large therapeutic play room located in the lower level of the same building that can be utilized if the situation is appropriate.
Supervised visits can also be held at various locations throughout the community.
Referrals may be made by order of a court or may be from a child protective service agency that has taken custody of a child. Referrals are also accepted from mental health professionals, mediators, and attorneys. Self-referrals are also welcome. The program maintains a cooperative working relationship with the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, attorneys, and individual mediators.
Hourly fees are calculated according to a sliding fee scale based on the individual’s annual income and family size according to the most recent U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines.
For more information call the Oil City office at 814-677-4005.