Standards For Supervised Visitation Practice

Standards in PDF Format

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Supervised Visitation Network (SVN)

The purposes of the Supervised Visitation Network are as found in the SVN by-laws.

1.2 Purpose of the Standards

This document establishes minimum practice standards for professional supervised visitation and exchange services. These standards are also intended to serve as a resource to courts, educators, funding sources, and others interested in this field of practice.

1.3 Historical Development of the SVN Standards

In 1994, SVN adopted a resolution to develop a draft document of Standards and Guidelines to be reviewed and accepted by the SVN general membership. The document was intended to serve as a best practice resource for professionals operating and administering child access/supervised visitation and exchange services. The current revision, effective July 1, 2006, is based on the original SVN Standards and Guidelines document created and approved by the general membership in April 1996. In this revised document, Standards and Guidelines have been separated out. This document sets forth mandatory minimum standards of practice. Best Practice Guidelines will be developed after the general membership approves and ratifies adoption of the Standards of Practice.

1.4 Philosophy of the Standards

Consistent with the mission and values of SVN, the general philosophy of the standards are:

1. Quality and flexibility of service

The standards are intended to be broad enough to be applicable to all supervised visitation providers operating and administering services and specific enough to ensure implementation of the core values of SVN.

2. Safety and well-being

The underlying premise of these standards is that the safety of all participants is a precondition of providing services. After safety, the well-being of the child is the paramount consideration at all stages and particularly in deciding the manner in which supervision is provided.

3. Evolving standards

The standards will be revised and updated periodically to reflect the evolving practice of supervised visitation services.

1.5 Applicability

The standards apply to SVN members who provide professional supervised visitation and exchange services. Membership in SVN explicitly implies agreement to follow the standards to the extent that they do not conflict with applicable law.

1.6 Adoption and Implementation

These standards were adopted by vote of the membership in May 2006 but the effective date of implementation is July 1, 2006. SVN members agree to be in full compliance with the standards one year from the effective date of July 1, 2006.

Prepared by:
SVN Standards Task Force and the Standards and Guidelines Committee

Approved by:
SVN Board of Directors & General Membership - July 2006

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The SVN Standards and Guidelines Committee (S & G) co-chairs wishes to give thanks to the SVN Board of Directors for its support and direction in undertaking the project to revise and amend the SVN April 1996 Standards and Guidelines, to reflect up-to-date best practices. The S & G committee extends special thanks and appreciation to the SVN Standards Task Force members for their extraordinary wisdom, professional vision, and invaluable time spent with meetings, teleconference calls, reviewing, drafting, revising, and revising, and revising the standards: Barbara Flory, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., Program Manager, Heritage House, St. Louis, Missouri, Jane Grafton, Greater Vancouver Mediation/Supervision Services, BC, Canada, Judy Newman, Ministry of the Attorney General, Toronto, Ontario Canada, and Rob Straus, J.D., DMH, Director, Meeting Place: Supervised Child Access Services, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Without your steadfast leadership and dedication, we could never have been completed this project. The lessons you have taught us are priceless.

Sincere thanks and gratitude to the SVN Standards and Guidelines Committee members for your generosity of time and guidance: Laurie Casey, Family Tree Access Centers, Inc., Ruthland, VT, Nancy Fallows, Executive Director, SVN, Mary Jaffe, West Palm Beach, Florida, Teri Walker McLaughlin, Children's Safety Centers, St. Paul, MN, and Nancy Porter, 30th Judicial District, DV-SA Alliance, Waynesville, NC. Many thanks to the California Administrative Office of the Courts staff members Shelly La Botte and Juan Palomares for their professional assistance and many hours spent on preparation and production of the new standards. Thank you Randy Fallows, SVN Webmaster, ITS, for all your technological support on this project. Finally, the committee would like to acknowledge the following individuals who provided reviews and comments on the revised standards: Karen Oehme, J.D., Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation, Institute for Family Violence Studies in the Florida State University School of Social Work, Jeffrey Postuma, Director of Parenting Programs-Perspectives Family Center, and Margaret Carson, Seattle, Washington.

SVN Standards and Guidelines Committee Co-chairs:
Shelly La Botte, J.D., California's Access to Visitation Grant Program, Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, and Nadine Blaschak-Brown, former Program Manager, Rally Family Visitation Services of Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco, CA.

SVN Board of Directors (Fiscal Years 2004-2006):
Jody Bittrich, Rainbow Bridge Safe Exchange/Visitation Center, Moorhead, MN, Barbara Flory (see above), Nancy Fallows (see above), Jane Grafton, (see above), Ona Foster, Faith and Liberty's Place, Dallas, TX, David Levy, Children's Rights Council, Hyattsville, MD, Teri Walker McLaughlin (President), Della Morton, Merrymount Children's Center, London, Ontario Canada, Joe Nullet, Family Nurturing Center of Florida, Inc., Jacksonville, FL, Vayla Roberts (Vice-President), Sharon Rogers, Judge Ben Gordon, Jr., Family Visitation Center, Shalimar, FL, Virginia Rueda, Family Visitation Center, El Paso, TX, Rob Straus, (see above), Georgia Thompson, LA Wings of Faith, Los Angeles, CA., and Beth Zetlin, Forest Hills, NY.