What Both Parents Need to Know
Due to the nature of our business, not every client will be happy with the services we or anyone else providing supervised visitation. Supervised visitation is contact between a noncustodial party and one or more children in the presence of a neutral third person. This is to provide as safe an environment as possible, first and foremost, for the visiting child, the monitored parent, the monitor, and the agency.
The Family Code Section 3200 defines the term "provider" as “including any individual or supervised visitation center that monitors visitation”. These standards of practice and this definition also apply to supervision of visitation exchanges as well. We have set our own policies and guidelines by the code and have included rules that allow us to do a proper risk analysis and determine if we are able to provide the service and if we accept the job, to do the best job possible for the person(s) that hire us.
Our monitor maintains a close position to be able to hear and see the interaction between the visiting parent and the child or children, until they are released or exchanged back to the custodial parent and "off of our watch". Honestly, this is often taken as invasive and imposing and can cause stress on the visiting parent.
Absolutely, an unhappy client happens, but the parties involved in being monitored must remember that we are not the cause or reason for them to be monitored. On the contrary, we are here to provide a service, referred by your attorney, a mediator, Children’s service or by an order of the court. Domestic Violence, Child abuse or neglect or worse are some of the reasons that parents are ordered into supervised visitation, but these are not the only reasons.
All payments are expected to be paid in advance of our service. We charge a fair rate for the services that we provide. We are not a charity that gets grants or contributions. If the auto mechanic that was hired to fix a car wasn’t paid, they would not release the vehicle. We don’t want to keep the children, but we can and will suspend service until we are paid. All of this information is presented and signed for by both parties during the process of intake.
We provide the best service possible to serve the needs of the community and the clients that utilize our service. If you would like more information, we hope that you will feel free to contact our office.
Tips for the Custodial Parent
1. The monitor will be present at all times during the visit.
2. The non-custodial parent will arrive fifteen (15) minutes prior to the start of the scheduled exchange and leave fifteen (15) minutes after the visitation is over. Failure of the non-custodial parent to arrive within 15 minutes grace period of your designated time of arrival without calling to let us know that you will be running late, will result in cancellation. You will be responsible for paying the appropriate fee and children will be returned to the custodial party.
3. The Custodial parent will arrive promptly at the exact hour of the scheduled visitation and will leave promptly at the end of the visitation once the child has been returned. Custodial parent and/or designees will be required to leave the area immediately upon dropping off child(ren) and picking up child(ren). Failure of the custodial parent to arrive within the 15 minute grace period of the designated time of arrival without calling to let us know that you will be running late will result in cancellation. You will be responsible for paying the appropriate fee.
4. Fees for services must be paid in full prior to each visit. No refunds.
5. If a parent or designee is more than 15 minutes late, the monitor will cancel the visitation and notify all parties to the case.
6. Use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs is prohibited.
The following must be avoided:
1. Inappropriate touching of the child(ren)s body.
2. Inappropriate demands for physical contact.
3. Use of foul language.
4. Shouting or yelling at ANYONE.
5. Threat of physical abuse or violence to ANYONE.
6. Attempts to move child(ren) away from the sight and/or hearing range of the monitor.
7. Parents and/or designees must avoid each other completely.
8. There will be no correspondence (e.g. regarding child support) or messages to the other parent by means of child(ren), monitor, etc.
9. It is prohibited to use the visitation, scheduled exchange site or surrounding areas for the service of court documents.
10. Monitors will only exchange information in regards to the child(ren)’s medical needs (i.e. medications, dietary needs) or visitations. Only prescription medication may be sent in pre-measured doses. Any other dietary (food) requests are not monitored or enforced. Custodial and visiting parties are responsible to meet the needs of children while children are in each individual’s care, e.g. diaper bag or baby food.
11. Parents must not share detailed court information or court documents with the child(ren) or make promises to the child(ren) about future living arrangements, time sharing, or visitation modifications. Discussions and activities should focus on the present so as to avoid added pressure and/or disappointment of the child(ren).
12. Parents will not speak negatively about the child(ren)’s other parent and his/her family in front of the child(ren). Concerns should be addressed during office hours.
13. Parents must not question the child(ren) about the other parent’s whereabouts or activities.
14. Parents will not use alcohol or non-prescribed drugs 24 hours prior to or during their visit with the child(ren). Visits will be cancelled if a parent is suspected of using these substances.
14a. Parents and children must speak English during the supervised visit unless there is a monitor present who speaks a family’s native language. Parents must speak loud enough for monitor to hear. No whispering.
14b. Phone calls to other individuals are not permitted at any time during the supervised visit. The use of cellular phones is not permitted during the scheduled visit unless in case of emergencies only.
14c. Weapons or any articles that could be used as weapons are not permitted on the supervised visit.
*Family members and friends authorized by the court to participate in the visitation that do not comply with the monitors guidelines and rules will result in the cancellation of the supervised visitation.
15. The visiting parent may bring a snack for the child(ren) if agreed by Custodial parent.
16. No gifts for the child(ren) are permitted, with the exception of the child(ren)’s birthday(s), Christmas, Hanukkah or other holidays at which gifts are usually given. Gifts will also be allowed at the first visit when there has been a substantial time of separation between visiting parent and child(ren). The Monitor will not monitor or enforce what is given.
17. If for any reason you are unable to bring the child(ren) or attend the visit with your child(ren) it is your responsibility to notify the agency and the other parent.
18. For Saturday or Sunday visits you must call by Friday at 5:00 pm to cancel. When visits fall on a holiday, cancellation must be made no later than one week prior to the visit. If holiday cancellations are made less than one week in advance, parents are responsible for paying the late fee.
19. Except for late cancellation or inability to arrive on time, all calls are to be placed to the monitor during office hours, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. (PST).
20. Photographs may not be taken during visits without the prior approval of Administration, the child(ren), and the custodial parent. NO audio or visual recording is permitted for any reason.
21. There are to be no changes in the supervised visitation schedule unless approved by the court and/or monitor. Once the day and time has been set, it will be followed on a weekly basis, unless either party requests a change. Changes in the schedule need to be done one week prior to visitation.
22. There shall be no permanent alteration of the child(ren) during visitation without prior approval of the custodial parent. This includes, but not limited to: haircuts, tattoos, body/ear piercing, etc.
23. Non-compliance with any rule or challenging the supervised monitor may lead to termination of services.
Supervised visitation can be difficult and uncomfortable at times. Often there are hurt and angry feelings toward the other parent, and it seems impossible to have a positive attitude about supervised visitation. Remember that both of you care about your children, and that, if possible, children benefit from having two parents in their lives.
If you need to change the visitation schedule, the provider cannot do that for you. To assist you in filing the proper paperwork, contact your attorney or the Family Law Facilitator.
If you cannot agree on how to modify the court's order, and you are both willing to meet with a Court Mediator to assist you in reaching an agreement that can then be filed in court and become an order, call your Family Court Services office to schedule an appointment.
Family Care Monitoring Services, Inc.
Tips For the Visiting Parent
The Below Guidelines will be Followed at all Times
Being with your child in the presence of someone else may be uncomfortable for you, at least in the beginning. You probably have many questions and concerns, and that is perfectly understandable. During tough times you may want to talk to a mental health professional or find a support group to help you with your feelings. Do your best to focus on your relationship with your child. Your patience and commitment will pay off. Here are some suggestions that might be helpful to you:
Supervised visitation can also be a challenge for you. Typically you have been taking care of your child's everyday needs and have a routine for yourself and your family. Supervised visitation can sometimes feel like one more responsibility. Of course you also have concerns and questions about the visits and how they will affect your child. This is understandable. In difficult times you may also want to talk to a mental health professional or find a support group where you can talk about your feelings. Here are a few suggestions that might help you in the process:
Family Care Monitoring Services, Inc.
6320 Van Nuys Blvd #410 Van Nuys, CA 91401
Phone: (818) 780-3730 | Fax: (818) 780-2807