What is Supervised Visitation?
We set effective boundaries upfront so all parties know where our responsibility lies. Supervised Visitation refers to the contact between a non-custodial parent and one or more children in the presence of a neutral third party who is responsible for observing and seeking to ensure the safety of all those involved, parent and child alike.  This allows the child(ren) to maintain a relationship with both of their parents, avoiding placing them in the middle of their parents’ issues and conflict.   Click here to read information about the standards for supervised visitation practice. We set Effective boundaries up front so all parties know where our responsibility lies.
 
How do I make sure the service will meet my needs?
Be sure to check the court order to see if it specifies the kind of supervision. Then contact us directly to see that all conditions can be met. Remember, this is about your children and their needs. It may require some sacrifices and flexibility on your part.


Parenting is not always convenient, and we need to be sure that we do not let minor inconveniences interfere with our child’s right to have time and attention from both parents.  If you are the non-custodial parent, your unwillingness to arrange your schedule to fit the times available through the service may be interpreted as a lack of interest by the courts, which can lead to termination of parental contact. If you are the custodial parent, your inflexibility may be seen as an effort to keep the child from the parent. This has been known to result in reversal of custody.


Remember, this is about the children, and their needs – NOT YOURS. The child(ren) need to know that they are YOUR priority and that they are NOT THE PROBLEM.

When we initially make contact, remember that this is all new and perhaps a little uncomfortable to you. Try not to displace your anger against the other parent, the system, or the unfairness of the situation onto us. Monitors are not responsible for the fact that you are being asked to use the service. We are here to help and to do everything we can to make what may be to you a bad situation, as good as possible.

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 are 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.

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 Servicing Coordinator) and therefore 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 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.

Who is a Supervised Visitation Provider?
Family Code section 3200 defines the term ‘provider’ as including any Individual or Supervised Visitation Center that monitors visitations.  A Professional Provider supervises visitation contact between a noncustodial party and one or more children in the presence of a neutral third person*.

There are two types of supervised visitation providers: 

  1. the non-professional provider, and 
  2. the professional provider.


All supervised visitation providers must agree to follow the Uniform Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation found here. The professional providers usually charge a fee for services and are experienced in and trained to supervised visitation services.  The non-professional provider is usually a family member or friend who does not provide supervised visitation services and is not paid for their services. It is not our job to perform any mental health or other evaluations or assessments. We are not qualified to do that(*1*).
 
Should I use a friend, relative, or a professional service?
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 whom to use. This option most frequently does not work out for the following reasons:

It is often difficult to find someone on whom you both agree. It puts a strain on relationships. 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 refrain 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.

How do I find a professional supervised visitation provider?
If you have a court order for visitation, chances are the local courts will have a list of providers in your area. Your attorney may be able to advise you about services. Check the SVN Directory of Service Providers to see if there is one in your area. If you have happened upon this website and feel confident about the services we provide, click here for further information.


If your court order specifies a certain provider and you prefer to change that provider, you will most likely have to go back to your attorney to change the provider. 

How Do I Choose a Non-Professional Provider?
Parents will usually ask a family member or friend that cares and is concerned for the children and family to act as a nonprofessional provider. This person must speak the same language as the visiting parent and child. The parents should ask someone they feel will be impartial and comfortable in following the court order. A copy of this guide is available at the local court clerk’s office.

This guide is available in several languages. Look through this guide. It will help you choose the right person and determine if they are qualified. All providers are responsible for making every reasonable effort to assure the safety and welfare of the child and adults during the visitation, avoid any conflict of interest, maintain neutrality, and follow the terms and conditions in Standard 5.20. Prior to a family member or friend agreeing to act as a supervised visitation provider, you should give the nonprofessional guide to the person you wish to supervise the visits so they can make an informed decision.
 
Are there qualifications and training requirements for a Supervised Visitation Monitor?
Yes. We are trained and receive “Certificates of Attendance” in our specialty. There is no such animal as a “Certified” or “Licensed” Monitor. All providers of supervised visitation must meet minimum qualifications prior to providing services and are required to receive 24 hours of training on the following topics:


  1. The role of a professional provider;
  2. Child abuse reporting laws;
  3. Record-keeping procedures (report writing);
  4. Screening, monitoring, and termination of visitation;
  5. Developmental needs of children;
  6. Legal responsibilities and obligations of a provider;
  7. Cultural sensitivity;
  8. Conflicts of interest;
  9. Confidentiality (telephone numbers, emails, and home addresses will not be revealed);
  10. Issues relating to substance abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence;
  11. Abduction, and;
  12. Basic knowledge of family and juvenile law

 
How do I obtain service?
By calling us at (818) 780-3730, submitting the Contact Us form, or emailing us at info@fcmonitoring.com. You will then be contacted to schedule an intake appointment.

We don’t take every case. We will do a risk assessment to see if we are qualified or comfortable with handling the case. If we can’t help you or your client directly, we will assist in providing other referral sources.
 
How is Supervised Visitation set up?
Both parents must MUTUALLY agree to use our service.  To begin services, each parent will Contact Us to schedule an Individual Intake Interview WHICH WILL BE CONDUCTED BEFORE THE FIRST VISIT.

Parents must bring the following materials along to their interview:

  1. Current Drivers License or Valid ID Card
  2. Proof of auto Insurance, and auto registration
  3. Copy of Current Court Order or Temporary Custody Orders, Copy of Protective, Restraining or No Contact Orders (if applicable)
  4. A Recent Photo of the Child(ren) from Custodial Parent


AT THE INTAKE INTERVIEW the following will be reviewed and discussed:

  1. Contract for Services (fee information included)
  2. Supervised Visitation Guidelines
  3. Authorization for Emergency Release of Information
  4. Any Special Conditions – e.g. any allergies, locations not allowed, persons allowed to visit etc.
  5. Substitute Monitor Policies


What is the process of a Supervised Visitation?
Non-custodial parent will arrive fifteen minutes before visit begins. Custodial parent will drop off child(ren) at the time the visitation is to commence. The professional supervised visitation monitor will retrieve the child(ren) and escort them to the location that the non-custodial parent is waiting. At the end of the visitation, the monitor will create a Monitored Visitation report. When complete, they will hand it into the agency who will retain it for a period no more than five (5) years.
 
What is a Monitored Visitation Report? 
In the course of our jobs, we do take notes (observations about the visit) and prepare a written report. These observations include a detailed observation of the events and conversations that took place between the non-custodial parent and the (child) throughout the course of the monitored visitation. It also includes: the Case Name, Judge, and Department Number; Date and time of Supervised Visitation; names of people who attended visit; concerns of custodial parent and noncustodial parent; and reasons for termination or suspension of visit (if any).

We keep these reports in our clients file until such time that they are requested. If we are subpoenaed to go to court on a case, the only thing that we can do is testify to the content of our reports. We will not give our opinion as we are not qualified to do so. We do not see what happens with the non-custodial parent outside of the monitored visitation, nor do we see what happens with the custodial parent outside of providing visitation services. For that reason, we specifically do not do summary reports.
 
Who pays for the Supervised Visitation?
A decision is made by the judge based on the financial status of the parents and attorney information provided.  The parent being monitored, in most cases, pays the monitoring fees. However, depending on circumstances, the parents split the costs, or family and friends pay the fee.

How is payment made for the Supervised Visitation?
We accept the following forms of payment: Cash, Check, Money Order, Debit Card and/or Credit Card. Payment is required 24 hours before the visitation. (contact us for our rates)
 
Who pays for activities during a Supervised Visitation?
Unless stated otherwise in the court order, the non-custodial parent pays for all activities for themselves, their child(ren), and the monitor. The monitor will pay for their own food.

What is Supervised (Monitored) Exchange?
Sometimes referred to as “Monitored Exchanges”, Supervised Exchange is the observation of the transfer of the child(ren) from one parent to another parent.  Precautions are taken to assure that the two parents or other individuals exchanging the child(ren) do not come in contact with one another.

Why are people supervised on visits to see their child?
A judge may order Supervised Visitation for many reasons, like:


  • To give the visiting parent a chance to address specific issues;
  • To help reintroduce a parent and a child after a long absence;
  • To help introduce a parent and a child when there has been no existing relationship between them;
  • When there is a history or allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse;
  • When there are parenting concerns or mental illness;
  • When there is a parental threat of abduction.


Who is allowed on the supervised visitations?
Unless agreed upon by both parties, only the individuals listed in the court order (if applicable) are allowed on the supervised visitations, if there is a question in regards to who is allowed on visitation, 

What are the benefits for my children?
Supervised visits allow children to maintain a relationship with both parents, even when one parent does not have custodial rights. It also allows children to anticipate visits without the stress of wondering what is going to happen and to enjoy visiting with them in a safe, comfortable environment.

What are the benefits for the non-custodial parent?
This program allows parents without custodial rights the opportunity to have regular, uninterrupted contact with their children. Because a monitor is always present during visits, parents are protected from future accusations or problems. Monitors are neutral and objective and document what actually occurs between you and your children during the visit.

What are the benefits for the custodial parent?
As the custodial parent, you are free from having to communicate with or have contact with the other parent, and can be assured that your child has a safe, monitored visit.

My child’s parent is not paying child support. Do I have to allow visits with our child?
YES! As long as the Court ordered the parent to have visitation, you must allow visitation even if the parent is not paying child support. Child support and visitation are two separate issues.

Visitation does not stop because Support is not paid. You may go back to Court to request an amendment to a visitation order.
 
Why Are Visits Important?
 To provide a safe visitation for children at risk brought on by the trauma of custodial battles.

  • To help mend or maintain the relationship between the non-custodial parent and their children.
  • To help maintain some sense of normality.

 
What is Assembly Bill 1674?
Assembly Bill 1674 addresses Family Code § 3200.5, which relates to Supervised Family Visitation, and supersedes the California Rules of Court Standards 5.20. This Bill incorporates a set of guidelines all providers have to follow to ensure a safe environment for the child, non-custodial parent, and supervised visitation monitor.  As this bill relates to businesses providing visitation services, another important aspect of supervised visitation that should be followed are the court orders.

What are the California Rules of Court?
You can read the California Rules of Court here.



What do I do if my child does not want to go on the visit? As the custodial parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child is ready for the monitored visitation with the other parent. As a minor child, they do not have authority to cancel a visit. If it is cancelled the custodial parent will be responsible for the full balance due for the missed visit if the child does not arrive. 


Notes of Importance

(*1*) The rules in the State of California may differ from other states in the United States of America. As of July 1, 2015, a professional provider in the State of California may not be a therapeutic provider in the course of Supervised Visitation Services. 

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The following are frequently asked questions to help you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us today!

Family Care Monitoring Services, Inc.

Supervised Visitation Monitoring Services