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A national directory of supervised visitation resources.


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General Information on Supervised Parenting

What Is Supervised Visitation?

In general, Supervised Visitation is a way to provide a safe place for children to visit with the non-custodial parent in a controlled environment.

Sometimes, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will decide that in order for a child to have contact with a parent, a neutral third person must be present during any visitation. A judge may make these orders on a temporary basis in order to give the visiting parent an opportunity to address specific problems or when contact is being reestablished after a prolonged absence. The court order will specify the time and duration of the visits. Sometimes, the court order will also specify who the provider is to be and where the visits are to take place.

Who can be a Supervised Visitation Provider?

There are two types of supervised visitation providers: the professional provider, who has agreed to follow a defined set of uniform standards of practice and usually charges a fee for services, and the non-professional provider who is typically a family member or friend. Your court order will generally specify which type of provider you are to use to supervise these visits.

Are There Rules Or Qualifications For A Supervised Visitation Provider?

This varies from State to State. Many States have guidelines and minimum qualifications which have been written for both professional and non-professional providers.

What Is The Role Of The Supervised Visitation Provider?

The provider is there to make every effort to keep your child safe and support your child in enjoying the visit with the supervised parent. Whether a paid professional, family member or friend, the provider's job is to make sure that the children involved in the visits are safe and free from any unnecessary stress. The provider must be present at all times during the visit, listen to what is being said, and pay close attention to the child's behavior. If necessary, the provider may interrupt or end a visit.

How Do I Select A Non-Professional Provider?

Parents will usually ask a family member or friend that cares and is concerned for the children and family. This person must speak the same language as the visiting parent and child. The parents should ask someone they feel will be impartial, will follow the court order and will comply with the generally agreed-upon guidelines for Supervised Visitation. If you will be using a non-professional, contact the local Court Clerk's Office for information on your State's guidelines.

Where Do I Find a Professional Provider?

You may contact the local Court Clerk's Office for information on providers or use our search page to locate a qualified provider in your area.

How Do I Select a Professional Provider?

The relationship you have with a professional provider will be more of a business relationship in which services are performed for a fee. Before you begin supervised visits, the provider must meet with you in person and discuss certain topics about the visits with you. These topics include:
  • Terms of the visits
  • Method of payment
  • Safety procedures
  • Reasons for interrupting or ending a visit
You will also normally be asked to sign an agreement about these conditions. If you would like to review the qualifications and guidelines that the provider must follow, the provider will give you a copy of the Standards of Practice for your State. Prepare for the interview as you would prepare for a business interview. Make a list of questions you have for the provider and make sure you understand what services will be provided and what is expected of you. This will help you understand the process and allow you to focus on your child during the visits.


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