The professional monitor bears the sole responsibility for enforcement of all the terms and conditions of any supervised visitation.
Responsibilities of the provider include:
- Monitor conditions to assure the safety and welfare of the child;
- Enforce the frequency and duration of the visits as ordered by the court;
- Avoid any attempt to take sides with either party;
- Ensure that all contact between the child and the noncustodial party is within the provider’s hearing and sight at all times, and that discussions are audible to the provider;
- Speak in a language spoken by the child and the noncustodial party;
- Allow no derogatory comments about the other parent, his or her family, caretaker, child, or child’s siblings;
- Allow no discussion of the court case or possible future outcomes;
- Allow neither the provider nor the child to be used to gather information about the other party or caretaker or to transmit documents, information, or personal possessions;
- Allow no spanking, hitting, or threatening the child;
- Allow no visits to occur while the visiting party appears to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;
- Allow no emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse; and
- Ensure that the parties follow any additional rules set forth by the provider or the court.
Other legal responsibilities and obligations of a provider are:
- Advise the parties before commencement of supervised visitation that no confidential privilege exists;
- Report suspected child abuse to the appropriate agency, as provided by law, and inform the parties of the provider’s obligation to make such reports;
- Prepare a written contract to be signed by the parties before commencement of the supervised visitation. The contract should inform each party of the terms and conditions of supervised visitation;
- Review custody and visitation orders relevant to the supervised visitation;
- Implement an intake and screening procedure;
- If a provider determines that the rules of the visit have been violated, the child has become acutely distressed, or the safety of the child or the provider is at risk, the visit may be temporarily interrupted, rescheduled at a later date, or terminated.
- All interruptions or terminations of visits should be recorded in the case file.
- All providers should advise both parties of the reasons for interruptions of a visit or termination.
- Professional providers should state the reasons for temporary suspension or termination of supervised visitation in writing and provide the written statement to both parties, their attorneys, the attorney for the child, and the court.