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7 Essential Aspects of Supervised Visitation Centres

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Supervised Visitation Centres are places where non-custodial parents can see their children after a separation or divorce in a safe and neutral setting.

Supervised Visitation Centres provide a safe environment for parents to spend quality time with their children.   Contact is supervised by trained staff members with a focus on the child’s safety and well-being.

Purpose of Supervised Visitation Centres

Supervised Visitation Centres give kids a safe place to spend time with their non-custodial parents or other family members.  

Their main goal is to ensure the child has an opportunity to maintain a relationship with both parents while limiting their exposure to risk factors. Supervision may be necessary where there are concerns about domestic violence, mental health issues or drug abuse.  

Services Provided by Supervised Visitation Centres

These centres offer various services that are tailored to the needs of each family.   These services can include supervised visits, supervised exchanges (when the child goes from one parent to the other), monitoring of phone or video calls, and parenting classes.

The Role of Supervisors in Supervised Visitation Centres

Supervisors are essential to ensure the safety of the child during supervised visits.  Supervisors often have previous experience working in social work, psychology or related fields so they are well equipped to facilitate a safe and positive visit.

Supervisors will track the progress of these visits through supervision reports, which are often relied upon by parties in parenting proceedings.

The Process Involved in Supervised Visits

If the court orders supervised visits, or both parents agree to them, they must enrol in supervision visitation centres.  

The supervisor will usually meet with each parent individually to learn more about the family dynamics, why the supervision is required, and to hear any of the parent’s concerns.   Following this onboarding process, a visitation schedule will be finalised specifying the frequency of the visits and the duration.

How Much Does Supervised Visits Cost?

The cost of supervised visitation in Australia can vary greatly depending on several things. This includes the provider (whether it’s a private service or government-subsidised), the number of visits, how long each visit lasts, and the specific needs of the visits.  Some organisations charge different amounts of money based on your income.

A private supervised visitation service could cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour. There may also be an “intake fee” for some services.   While government-subsidised visitation centres may cost significantly less, they often have long waitlists so it is important to make contact as soon as possible.

You should always call the supervised visitation centre or service you’re considering to get the most accurate and up-to-date cost information.   

What Should Be Considered In Choosing Supervised Visitation Centres?

Choosing a supervised visitation centre is an important decision that can significantly impact a child’s well-being and the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Accreditation and Standards: The centre should meet the necessary standards and have appropriate certification. In Australia, for instance, they should adhere to the standards set by the Supervised Visitation Network.
  • Safety Measures: The centre should have comprehensive safety protocols in place. This includes secure entrances and exits, separate arrival and departure times for each parent, and adequate staff training to handle conflicts or emergencies.
  • Staffing: The centre must have sufficient well-trained and experienced staff. The staff should have a background in a related field and have training in relevant areas such as domestic violence, child abuse, and conflict resolution.
  • Environment: The centre should provide a comfortable, child-friendly environment. There should be age-appropriate toys, games, and activities available. The area should be clean and safe for children.
  • Cost: It’s essential to understand the cost structure of the centre. Some charge on a sliding scale based on income, while others have set fees.
  • Documentation: A good centre will maintain detailed records of each visit, including the date, duration, who was present, and any significant interactions or incidents.
  • Location and Availability: The centre should be in an area that is convenient for both parents and the child. Additionally, it should have hours that accommodate your scheduling needs.
  • Neutral and Unbiased: The centre should maintain a neutral stance and treat both parents respectfully and equally.
  • Feedback and Communication: There should be clear communication between the centre and both parents. This can include input after visits or updates on any changes in policies or schedules.
  • Policies and Procedures: Ensure you understand the centre’s policies and procedures, including their visitation rules, their cancellation policy, and what happens during a no-show or late arrival.

Also read: What to Do Legally When Your Wife Leaves You?

Summary

Supervised visitation centres are vital because they allow non-custodial parents to see their kids in a safe, controlled setting.

These centres ensure the child is safe and keep and strengthen the relationship between the parents. With various services, professional staff, and well-planned steps, these centres help families stay close even when things are difficult.

Choosing the right centre means carefully thinking about many things, like how safe it is, how much it costs, where it is, and how qualified the staff are.

It is essential to find a centre that puts the child’s safety, comfort, and well-being first and looks out for their best interests.

Remember that each child and situation is different, so finding a supervised visitation centre to meet your needs and work with your case is crucial.

The first step to ensuring that parent-child interactions are positive, helpful, and safe is understanding these centres’ vital roles and functions.

Let’s remember that every child has the right to feel safe, loved, and connected to their parents.  With the right help, tools, and understanding, we can make this happen.

Need Advice In Choosing Supervised Visitation Centres?

At Justice Family Lawyers, we are experienced in navigating the complexities of family law.

Our objective is to provide our clients with the support, information and guidelines that are needed to make the best decision for them and their families.

Choosing the most suitable Supervised Visitation Centre can help you make informed decisions in the best interest of your child.

If you are going through a separation or need legal advice, please feel free to contact us today. Our experienced separation lawyers would be more than happy to assist with any questions you may have.

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