What is the difference between Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange?
Supervised Visitation is usually mandated by the family or dependency courts when there are fears or allegations that a parent cannot safely be left alone with their children. The parent's time with their child(ren) is supervised and documented by a professional 3rd party to ensure safety and protect the parent from false accusations.
Safe Exchange is either mandated by the courts or agreed upon by both parents as a safe way to transition kids between parents without either parent needing to be supervised during their actual time with the child(ren).
What are the benefits of using the services?
· Both scheduling and the visits/exchanges themselves are no contact so you will not have to see or talk to the other parent.
· You can relax and feel comfortable allowing your child to have contact with the other parent knowing that transitions will be safe.
· If allegations have been made against you, you can exchange/visit without fear of any new accusations because there is someone present who can verify what happened during services.
And most importantly, for the Children:
· It allows the children to maintain a relationship with both of their parents
· 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 or other problems.
What is 'No Contact'?
All of Parenting Time's services are No Contact. This means that parents/guardians within a family will never need to see or talk to each other in relation to services. Parenting Time handles all communications relating to exchange or visits and documents all these contacts. Arrival times are staggered and the facility is specially designed to provide separate waiting areas for parents to ensure there is no contact in the parking area or lobby. This is intended to allow parents to focus on the children and not their adult issues and to ensure that everyone feels safe while utilizing services.
How long do the services last?
Parenting Time does not make any decisions about visitation orders. You generally need to return to mediation and/or court to have your custody agreement changed. The objective documentation Parenting Time keeps may be a factor in the judge or mediator's decision but we never give a recommendation or make any judgment at our level. Both programs are designed to be transitional and in most cases families move on to more permanent arrangements in 6 months or less from enrollment.
Who pays for the services?
Parenting Time never makes decisions about responsibility of payment. Your court order or mediator's recommendation should specify who pays for services. In the absence of an order parents must agree on a payment arrangement.
Why do I have to pay to see my kids?
You are paying for a professional to observe and document your time or transitions with your children in a specially designed facility. It has been determined by a judge or mediator that this is necessary for the safety of your children.
What if I cannot afford services?
There are several programs available through First 5 Placer to assist with the cost of services for families with a child age 5 or younger. There are no programs currently available for families without a young child. You should only schedule what services you can afford on a regular basis and inform the courts if the costs are prohibitive. Usually the best way to minimize the cost of services is to follow all instructions and recommendations of the courts as closely as possible to eliminate the need for services.
What do I tell my kids?
For most families engaged with the custody or dependency courts and enrolling in services there are adult issues involved that should not be discussed with children. What your children need to know will depend on their age and developement and their concerns and past history. Parenting Time generally advises parents to be positive and encouraging regarding services and to assure their children that the adults are all working together to make things better.
What documentation can I get for court?
Parenting Time has two types of documentation for the Supervised Visitation program and one for Safe Exchange. Both documents are objective and descriptive, Parenting Time never makes judgments or recommendations. Documentation can be ordered through this website here or when you are in the office for an appointment. All documents are ready 1 week after they are ordered and paid for and will be emailed to you in PDF format.
Visit Report: Detailed record of what was said and done during visit. Descriptions are objective and non-judgmental. Visit Reports are available for $20 per visit for visits up to 4 hours. Click here to see a sample Visit Report.
Progress Notes: Record of all interactions with your family. This includes phone conversations, emails, in person conversations, cancellations, scheduling efforts and payment information. This document can be extremely helpful if one parent is not showing sufficient commitment or flexibility to visitation. Progress Notes allow you to present the judge or mediator with a concise third-party record of the progress of visitation. Progress Notes are available for $30 for each month requested.
Frequently Asked Questions about Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange
Every family is different and the reasons for referral, parental attitude and cooperation and the age and background of your children will all influence your experience with the program. If you have questions about how your family's situation would be handeled by Parenting Time's programs please contact the facility. The following is general information that will hopefully give you a better understanding of the programs and their goals. If you have not yet reivewed a Client Contract please do so by selecting the appropriate program: Supervised Visitation Safe Exchange