Safety & Security
The Standard in California provides a Scope of Service for the provision of supervised visitation under Family Code section 3200. The standards of practice are designed to apply to all providers of supervised visitation, whether the provider is a friend, relative, paid independent contractor, employee, intern, or volunteer operating independently or through a supervised visitation center or agency. The goal of the standards of practice is to assure the safety and welfare of the child, adults, and providers of supervised visitation. Once safety is assured, the best interest of the child is the paramount consideration at all stages and particularly in deciding the manner in which supervision is provided.
According to the Standard, all providers should make every reasonable effort to assure the safety and welfare of the child and adults during visitation. Supervised visitation centers should have a written protocol developed with the assistance of the local law enforcement agency that describes the emergency assistance and responses that can be expected from the local law enforcement agency. In addition, the professional provider should:
- Establish and state in writing minimum security procedures and inform the parties of these procedures before the commencement of supervised visitation;
- Conduct comprehensive intake and screening to assess the nature and degree of risk for each case. The procedures for intake should include separate interviews with the parties before the first visit. During the interview, the provider should obtain identifying information and explain the reasons for temporary suspension or termination of a visit. If the child is of sufficient age and capacity, the provider should include the child in part of the intake or orientation process. Any discussion should be presented to the child in a manner appropriate to the child’s developmental stage;
- Obtain during the intake process:
- Copies of any protective order;
- Current court orders;
- Any Judicial Council form relating to supervised visitation orders;
- A report of any written records of allegations of domestic violence or abuse; and
- An account of the child’s health needs if the child has a chronic health condition;
- Establish written procedures that must be followed in the event a child is abducted during supervised visitation; and
- Suspend or terminate supervised visitation if the provider determines that the risk factors present are placing in jeopardy the safety and welfare of the child or provider.