Supervised Visitation Details
by Linda Michie, Executive Director and Founder at Wishing Well Adoption & Family Services LLC
Supervised Visitation is usually ordered by a judge. Often, judges order supervision when a parent has made some serious parenting mistakes and the judge wants to ensure the child’s safety while keeping the parent-child bond intact. Sometimes the concerns are not child related. Sometimes there are alcohol/drug, mental health, criminal, violence, or poor judgment issues that need some time to get sorted out, and the children need to continue to see their parents while the sorting is going on.
At Wishing Well, visitations take place in the community. There are a number of places a parent can request. The supervisor will approve based on the appropriateness of the site, the location, the child’s age, the parent’s ability to function in a given setting, and the weather. Many of the sites are outdoors, such as Red Wing Park and Hunt Club Petting Zoo. Some are indoors, like the PMS Deli, Lynnhaven Bowl, and Chuck-E-Cheeses. There are other agencies that have rooms where children and parents can meet observed by someone through 2-way glass. If that type of visitation is required Wishing Well will be happy to send them in the right direction.
The way to get started is to call (757) 739-2118 and set up an appointment for an intake meeting. The intake fee is $100. The parent will meet with the supervisor and explain in detail why supervision is required. At that time the parent can discuss concerns, ask questions, and talk about where and when they’d like to have their visits. They will sign a contract stating that they understand the rules of visitation and that they intend to cooperate with the supervisor and follow the court order. After the meeting, the supervisor will contact the custodian of the children. A similar meeting will take place. A similar contract is required to be signed by the custodial parent. It is very common for the visiting parent and the custodian to have different perceptions of what has led to the need for visitation. As long as both parties keep the safety of the child in mind, things usually work out, and visits can begin. Supervised visitation is $50 per hour, payable before the visit begins.
There is no way to know ahead of time what supervised visits will be like. Some parents are respectful and courteous, follow the rules, show good parenting skills, and are generally released by the court in a short period of time. Some parents require some guidance during visits, and as long as the parent is receptive to suggestions for improvement, progress is made and an end to supervision is usually in sight. Rarely, but occasionally, parents make poor decisions at supervision and are not willing to make improvements. These parents will remain under supervision for extended periods of time, or, sometimes, lose their visitation altogether.
Because the child’s safety is the first and foremost concern of the supervisor at all times, the supervisor has the ability to end the visitation at any time they deem necessary. This happens almost never. But it has happened.
My heartfelt advice to anyone who requires supervised visitation is…have fun, enjoy your kids, use your best parenting skills. If you don’t know what to do…ask for help. You have a built in parent-advisor with you at all times. Use them to your best advantage, then move on.
Linda has worked in the child welfare field since 1999 and is a Licensed Child Placing Agent.
Wishing Well assists in domestic adoptions in the state of Virginia, and provides parenting coaching, and supervised visitation in Virginia Beach, VA.
Latest posts by Linda Michie (see all)
- …More on Home Assessments, Custody Investigations, and Home Studies - February 1, 2019
- Supervised Visitation Details - December 10, 2018
- The Problem of Overpraising - September 6, 2018