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While few parents want to have to spend time with his child under supervision, sometimes it is necessary. A number of circumstances might trigger supervised child visitation, which tends to be court-ordered. These circumstances include parental conflict, substance abuse, mental health issues, allegations of abuse and extended time away from a child, according to A Kat’s Eye Supervised Visitation Service of Mukilteo, Wash. It is the responsibility of the child-visitation supervisor to ensure the meeting goes smoothly and without incident.
The supervisor for child visitation needs to observe the meeting between the parent and child in an impartial manner. That means the supervisor should not intervene but instead should watch the parties interact. She stays within hearing and sight range of them at all times, according to A Kat’s Eye. If she notices something that might put the child in danger, she should intervene; otherwise, the supervisor should keep her interruptions to a minimum.
Documenting interactions is important, especially if the visiting parent is trying to regain custody through the court. The Wichita Children’s Home of Wichita, Kan., asks its supervisors to write down the activities in as objective a manner as possible. This is a typical requirement for child-visitation supervisors, who must be detail-oriented and conscientious so they can adequately describe the meeting.
It is the job of the child-visitation supervisor to ensure the child feels safe and comfortable. The supervised visits have usually been court ordered because of a deficiency in a person’s parenting skills; this makes it all the more critical that the supervisor looks out on the child’s behalf. However, the supervisor generally will serve as an impartial observer unless there is a clear and present danger in the parent-child interaction.
What the Supervisor Cannot Do
The visitation supervisor’s employer typically stipulates what he can and cannot do in regard to his charges. However, supervisors generally follow a similar set of rules regardless of where they work. At the Wichita Children’s Home, supervisors may not pass on messages from one parent to another, provide advice or talk about any problems the parent or child are having. At A Kat’s Eye, supervisors do not interfere with the parents’ individual parenting styles.