S.A.P.


Supervised Access Program

 

SAFE, CHILD-FOCUSED, and NEUTRAL

The Supervised Access Program is funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General and is administered in Chatham-Kent by Family Service Kent, a not-for-profit agency that works with its funder to provide this essential service to families and children who are experiencing the difficulties of separation and/or divorce. The Centre provides services in a sensitive and thoughtful manner to meet the needs of children and families during this time in your and your child(ren)’s lives.

What is Supervised Access?

Supervised Access Services are in place to help reduce some of the anxieties and stresses of access to children. The Program provides two (2) very important services to children and families:

  • Supervised Visits: Supervised visits take place on site at the Supervised Access Centre and are in place to help provide children with contact to a visiting parent or relative when supervision is required. Visits take place in the presence of trained staff that is there to ensure that the visit is safe and child-focused. Children are always in the presence of Supervised Access staff while at the Centre. Staff also make factual notes of the interactions between children and their parents for court or assessment purposes. Centre staff are neutral and therefore do not provide personal opinions or assessments. Please note that the Centre provides two (2) hour visits at one time.
  • Supervised Exchanges: Ongoing conflict within a family can be both upsetting and harmful to children who are experiencing it. Supervised exchanges are provided to families where there is no need for the immediate supervision of the parent or relative but where there are ongoing difficulties in the transfer of children from one household to another, communication issues between the parents or relatives, and safety concerns should the parents come into contact with one another. The exchanges take place at the Supervised Access Centre with procedures in place to keep everyone safe and ensure that parents do not come into contact with one another. Staff will make factual notes of the child/parent interaction while they are at the centre for the exchange.

Reasons for Referral to the Program…

Every family comes to the Centre with a different story and background or varying concerns, however, the primary focus of the Program is to help ensure that children are safe and can maintain ongoing contact with the both parents.

Some common reasons why the program may be appropriate for your family and children are:

  • Ongoing conflict between families that makes regular access very difficult
  • A long absence between a relative and a child that requires reintroduction
  • A history of mental health concerns and/or addictions issues
  • Concerns over parenting ability of visiting relative
  • History of domestic violence and/or partner or child abuse
  • Allegations of sexual abuse

How do I refer myself to the Program and receive services?

To refer yourself to the Supervised Access Program, you merely need to call the office at (519) 355-1127. An intake appointment will be scheduled with the Program’s Supervisor where you will have the opportunity to sit down and discuss any concerns or questions you have with the manager. Also, during intake, you will complete all necessary disclosure forms and the Centre’s Service Agreement which outlines the rules of the Program and the Centre’s expectations. Please be aware that each parent must contact the Program separately and will complete their intake separate from one another.

Before services can begin, each parent will complete their intake, the manager will ensure that all relevant and needed documentation is collected and will then schedule a child orientation to help ease children into their visits and exchanges.

What do I need to bring to the intake interview?

It is important that you bring the following items to your intake:

  • A Family Court Order or Mutual Written Agreement signed by both parties outlining both custody (whether interim or permanent) and access (supervised, unsupervised, duration, etc);
  • A piece of photo-identification (usually driver’s license but any photo will work);
  • Child(ren)’s Health Cards (if you are the custodial parent);
  • Proof of income to help determine fees;
  • Any no-contact, restraining orders, or recognizance orders;
  • Any clinical assessments that have been completed in the past (Office of the Children’s Lawyer, a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, etc);
  • Information regarding which vehicle, if possible, you will be using to travel to and from the Centre (year, make, model, license plate number); and
  • Any other documents that the manager requires (may be determined during intake).

Is there a fee for the service?

Everyone who uses the service pays something. Usually, each party pays half of the fee. Typical fees for service are as follows:

Supervised Visits, $25.00 per visit ($12.50 per parent)
Supervised Exchanges, $20.00 per exchange ($10.00 per parent)

However, the service is not to be a financial burden on anyone so it is important that you bring proof of income for your intake so you and the manager can discuss what fee you can afford and is reasonable.

Hours of Operation:

Please be advised that the Centre will accommodate your needs and times as best as it can—however, sometimes due to volume, the Centre may need to move your times and dates around a little. Generally, the Centre is open and can provide services as follows:

Weekly Tuesdays, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Weekly Wednesdays, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Weekly Fridays, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Weekly Saturdays, 9:30am – 3:00pm
Weekly Sundays, 12:30pm – 5:30pm

The Program also provides visit services (no exchanges) in satellite communities:

Blenheim (please contact the Supervisor for availability)
Wallaceburg (please contact the Supervisor for availability)

How to Contact the Centre:


View Larger Map

444 Riverview Drive, Suite 17
Chatham, Ontario, N7M 5J5
Telephone: (519) 355-1127
Fax: (519) 355-0948

© Copyright Family Service Kent - Designed & Developed by HUB Creative Group