1. What is a “supervised visit”? And what is a “supervised exchange”?
Child and Parent Place is a supervised access program that provides a safe, neutral, child focused setting by eliminating direct contact and reducing opportunities for children to be in the middle of the conflict. The program offers two kinds of services between the non-custodial party and the child or children.
- In a supervised visit, a non-custodial party visits with their child(ren) at one of our access centres. The entire duration of the visit takes place under the supervision of trained staff. The centre provides a setting for positive interactions, conversation and play.
- In a supervised exchange, the custodial party brings the child to one of our access centres. The non-custodial party picks the child up and they leave the centre for a visit unsupervised in the community. At the end of their time together in the community, the non-custodial party returns the child back to the access centre, and the child is returned to the custodial party.
2. What is neutrality?
- Respectful treatment of all participants
- Not taking sides with either party
- Consistent application of written Centre policies and procedures
- Not providing recommendations or assessments, only factual observations
- Having a setting and service that is non-stigmatizing and accessible to our clients
3. What are the requirements for using the access program?
Child and Parent Place must receive a typed, signed and endorsed Court Order and/or mutual voluntary agreement. A voluntary agreement must be signed by both parties and with witness signature(s); this document must clearly state whether visits or exchanges are required for the family. A voluntary agreement can be provided that is drafted by the parties or legal counsel. Please see “Legal Points” for more information.
4. What does the intake process look like?
Once both parties have called the program and a copy of the Court Order/voluntary agreement has been received, Child and Parent Place staff will contact you to arrange the intake interviews. Both parties will have separate scheduled meetings with program staff so necessary information can be gathered, program policies will be reviewed, and clients will agree to follow these policies. This will also be an opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns that you may have.
5. What happens after my intake appointment
After both parties have completed their intake appointment the file goes into screening where the program will speak with collateral contacts such as Family and Children’s services, bail and probation and other relevant third parties. This information is taken into consideration when making a decision whether to open a family for service. The consent for the release of this information will be signed at the intake appointment.
6. How long does the intake process and screening take?
The screening and intakes phases can vary depending on the background of the family file. After screening is completed, the program will reach out to the parties regarding scheduling.
7. Who provides the funding?
Child and Parent Place is a not-for-profit organization that is funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General and works with an Advisory Committee.
8. Are there fees associated with the service?
A non-refundable administration fee of $100.00 is required prior to the first visit/exchange and is typically paid at the intake appointment. Bi-weekly access is $200 for up to a year in service. Please note that the administration fee is deducted from the annual service fee. If the court documentation does not name the party responsible for fee payment, it is the policy of the program that fees are the equal responsibility of both parties.
9. What activities are available to families at the centre?
- Board games
- Outdoor play area (Kitchener and Guelph)
- Cooking (Cambridge)
Visiting parties are welcome to bring age appropriate activities
10. What if I am a newcomer to Canada and cannot speak English?
Please contact the program and let staff know you require an interpreter. Staff can arrange to have an interpreter relay messages and attend the intake appointment.
If communication between parents and children requires an interpreter, one may be provided at the family’s request for up to 2 hours bi-weekly maximum; the need for an on-going interpreter will assessed from time to time and may become the financial responsibility of the family.
If you have further questions or wish to book an appointment, please call us at 519-743-1460 (Ext. 1 for Kitchener, Ext. 2 for Cambridge or Ext. 3 for Guelph)