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Kids and Families Matter
 Supervised Time Sharing and Monitored Exchanges

Supporting Families as a part of the solution.
Professional Services to Support your Family.



Why do I need Supervised Shared Parenting Time?
There are many reasons that a judge may order supervised shared parenting time for a family:

  • 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;
  • To give the visiting parent a chance to address specific issues;
  • Where the custodial parent has made allegations of potential harm to the child by the non-custodial parent.
  • 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; or
  • When there is a parental threat of abduction.

A court order usually specifies the time and duration of the parenting time. Sometimes, the court order will also specify who will provide the supervised shared parenting time services, who will pay for the services, and where the time together will take place.
 

What is Supervised Shared Parenting Time?

Supervised shared parenting time is visitation between a parent and child which is held at a neutral location.

Supervised shared parenting times are closely monitored by staff that may intervene when necessary to ensure appropriate parent/child interactions. 

The supervised shared parenting time supervisor is there to make every effort to keep your children safe.

The supervised shared parenting time supervisor will also protect the visiting parent from false allegations or accusations.

The supervisor’s job is to make sure that the children and everyone involved in the visits are kept as safe as possible and protected.

The supervisor is present at all times during the visit, listening to what is being said and paying close attention to the children’s behavior.  

If necessary, the provider may interrupt or end a visit.  

All Supervisors are required to report suspected child abuse.


Who is a Supervised Shared Parenting Time Provider?
There are three types of supervised shared parenting time providers:
(1) The nonprofessional provider;  The non-professional provider is usually a family member or friend who does not provide supervised visitation services as a profession. These services are usually provided in a family home, a restaurant, or in a children's playground or park like setting.
(2) The professional provider;  The professional providers usually charge a fee for services and are trained and experienced in providing court ordered supervised visitation services.  This service is usually provided in a visitation center or sometimes out in public areas.
(3) The therapeutic provider;  The therapeutic providers usually charge a fee for services and are a licensed counselor in the state of Florida. These visits are usually held in the counselors office.

Your court order will usually say which type of provider you have to use to supervise these visits.
 
Are There Qualifications for a Supervised Shared Parenting Time Provider?
All providers of supervised visitation should meet minimum qualifications prior to providing services.


What are the Training Requirements for a Supervised Shared Parenting Time Provider?
Supervised Shared Parenting Time providers are strongly encouraged to follow the training and education requirements of the Supervised Visitation Network. Click here to see the standards for supervised visitation practice.


What is the Job of the Supervised Shared Parenting Monitor?
The provider is there to make every effort to keep your child safe and support your child in enjoying the visit with the supervised parent. Whether a paid professional, family member or friend, the provider's job is to make sure that the children involved in the visits are safe and free from any unnecessary stress and the court order is followed by all parties.  The provider must be present at all times during the visit, listen to what is being said and pay close attention to the child's behavior. If necessary, the provider may interrupt or end a visit. All providers are to report suspected child abuse to the Child Abuse Hotline.

Choosing a Supervised Shared Parenting Time Monitor:
How Do I Choose a Professional Supervised Shared Parenting Monitor?
Your court order, lawyer, or Family Court Services office will probably give you information about supervised visitation services and a list of supervised visitation monitors in your area.
If you didn't get a list or you want help to choose a monitor, here are some things to think about before choosing a monitor. Look at:

  • the supervised shared parenting time monitor's experience working with families and children involved in the court system.
  • the monitor's compliance with training and education requirements;
  • the members affiliation with professional organizations in their field.
  • the level of staff experience and expertise;
  • child abuse and criminal background (fingerprinting) clearance for staff; and
  • the supervised shared parenting time monitor's reputation and good standing with their professional association, the court, and the community.


Also, you will or should have an in person meeting with the supervised visitation monitor. Make a list of questions you have for the monitor and make sure you understand what services will be provided and what is expected of you. When you interview the monitor in person, discuss the monitor's qualifications, policies and procedures, such as:

  • Visitation Monitor's level of education and experience
  • fees and method of payment
  • safety and security measures
  • program conditions and guidelines
  • hours of operation
  • reasons for interrupting or ending a visit, and visit termination process.


If there are concerns about domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or sexual abuse, choose a supervised visitation monitor who has been trained in these issues, and clearly understands the specialized knowledge and skills required for these types of cases. The use of a non-professional monitor in these cases is not recommended.



Here are a couple of resources for finding a provider that you are comfortable with:


Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation: List of Florida Supervised Visitation Programs:


Supervised Visitation Network: List of Florida Supervised Visitation Programs:









Kids and Families Matter program.

Supporting Families as a part of the solution.