Therapeutic Visitation Monitoring

It is the public policy of the state of California to protect the best interest of children whose parents have a custody or visitation matter in family court.  Sometimes, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will order that a child only have contact with a parent when a neutral third person is present during the visitation. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is often called “supervised visitation.”

 The traditional supervised visitation provider is there to make every effort to keep your children safe. The provider’s job is to make sure that the children and everyone involved in the visits are kept reasonably safe and protected. The provider must be present at all times during the visit, listen to what is being said, and pay close attention to the children’s behavior. If necessary, the provider may interrupt or end a visit. All providers are required to report suspected child abuse.

 Therapeutic supervised visitation is similar to a traditional monitored visit between a non-custodial parent and child, except that a licensed therapist is involved in supervising and guiding the visit. The therapist interacts with the family prior to, during and after the visit to help mend and heal the parent-child relationship. The therapist also makes sure that the guidelines set by the Court or referral agency are followed, and submits progress reports and recommendations to the referral source as required.

 A judge may order therapeutic supervised visitation for many reasons such as:

 To give the visiting parent a chance to address specific issues;

  • To help reintroduce a parent and a child after a long absence;
  • To help introduce a parent and a child when there has been no existing relationship between them;
  • When there is a history or allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse;
  • When there are parenting concerns or mental illness;
  • When there is a parental threat of abduction.

All providers must follow the uniform standards of practice for providers of supervised visitation outlined in standard 5.20 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration and Family Code section 3200.5.