Integrated Family Services
Integrated Family Services Supervised Parenting Time Information; Policies and Procedures
Mission Statement: Integrated Family Services (IFS) is dedicated to providing safe, positive contact between parents and children who must have supervision during such contact.
Integrated Family Services practices and follows the standards of the International and National Supervised Visitation Network, with the exception that if a child is being abused, neglected or endangered by a parent's actions or omissions, IFS WILL advocate for that child. The SVN standards can be found at: http://svnworldwide.org/live-wire.asp
INFORMATION ABOUT SERVICES AT IFS, SPECIFICALLY:
IFS' policy is child-centered. In some cases, children's needs are over-ridden by parent's needs. In those cases, a child can become endangered or damaged by the actions or omissions of a parent. There may be abuse/neglect of a child, and even if that abuse or neglect is reported to authorities, the child may remain endangered. It is the policy of IFS to then actively advocate for the child until that child finds relief and/or is protected and safe. Abuse can be emotional abuse, including active alienation of a child from his or her parent or other relatives with whom the child has enjoyed a mutually positive relationship in his or her lifetime.
1. IFS will offer education, coaching and guidance to parents who struggle with parenting issues during Supervised Parenting Time
2. IFS retains the right to intervene or cancel a session if the parent and/or children are not safe
4. IFS meets the children and parents in their homes or community in order to provide the most natural and comfortable parenting time for all participants
5. Following supervision of parenting time, the supervision provider will write a brief report for all parties and their attorneys, if parties have attorneys.
6. IFS is neutral regarding issues of divorce or issues that are problematic between the parents, and will focus on positive parenting time for the child(ren).
7. Safety during supervision is the most important task provided by IFS. Beyond that, the supervisor of visitation will take notes regarding the visit.
8. All notes and reports regarding a client’s parenting time with the children will be maintained in the IFS office. This information will be retained for a period of at least one year following termination of supervised services.
9. All information in the case file at IFS is protected by confidentiality unless subpoenaed, or if there is a need to report child abuse or neglect, or if the IFS provider sees the need to report possible harm to any person.
10. If a parent requests review of IFS records, that parent must pay for copies of such records, time taken to redact confidential information, and postage to provide those records to the person.
11. Information regarding supervised parenting time can be released to attorneys or parties if such request is made in writing (including email) and if the copying fees and postage are paid for by the parties or their attorneys.
12. If there is a protected parent in IFS case, information regarding that parent’s location and other data that may put that parent at risk will not be released. In such cases, if the files are requested, additional fees will be added for the cost of redacting confidential information about the protected party that might put that party at risk.
13. If an IFS provider cannot insure safety of children or adults during supervised parenting time, the IFS provider is free to decline to do supervision for that case.
14. If the IFS SPT provider is asked or subpoenaed to attend court, the SPT provider will require a retainer of $500.00 for such appearance, including preparation time, driving time, and time at court. If the time is less than 10 hours for such activity, the retainer amount remaining will be sent back to the parent who provided such retainer.
1- While parents are responsible for their own behavior during supervised parenting time, a provider may hold a parent accountable for their behavior by ensuring that the parent follows the program policies and procedures, the court order, and the signed service agreement.
2- Parents are responsible for the care of the child and the child’s belongings during supervised visits, subject to any contrary order of the court.
3- Providers are responsible for the care and protection of the child during the transition of the child from one parent to another.
4- Services cannot be provided until the parent(s) agree to the fee agreement. Each parenting time scheduled will be paid for in advance, via Pay Pal, on the IFS web site, by noon of the day before such parenting time is scheduled.
5- If Supervised Parenting Time is located in one parents' home, IFS may request the information needed to perform a background check (CBI and CoCourts) regarding the parents.
6- If a parent requires telephone time with the supervisor, please be advised that the parent requiring telephone time (beyond the intake interview) will be charged for such telephone time at $50/hour. Please remember that IFS can be reached more quickly by email than by telephone in most instances.
1- The parent requesting supervised parenting time is responsible for providing IFS with the court order for supervision.
2- Once the order is received, IFS will determine whether this case meets the ability of IFS to provide supervised parenting time.
3- If the case meets IFS ability to provide supervised parenting time, IFS will conduct an intake with each parent prior to beginning supervised parenting time. The intake interviews will be by telephone, separately for each parent. The parent requiring supervised parenting time is responsible to pay for the cost of both parents' intake interview, which is $50.00, unless the court orders otherwise.
4- It is possible that IFS may need to conduct an intake with the children prior to parenting time, depending on the child's age.
5- Once the Intake is finished, IFS will contact both parents in order to set a schedule of parenting time.
6- A contract between IFS and both parents will need to be returned to IFS before supervised parenting time can begin.
7- During the Intake, the IFS provider will talk with the parents about how to orient the child for supervision, emphasizing to the child that supervision itself is not the child’s fault.
GENERAL RULES DURING PARENTING SUPERVISED TIME:
a. No other person should accompany the parent who is to have supervised parenting time without prior permission of the supervisor in conjunction with consult with the other parent, and consult with attorneys, PC/DMs, or other professionals involved with the family, if necessary.
b. A parent should consult with the IFS provider if he or she wishes to bring toys, food, gifts, recording equipment (audio/video/photo) to the parenting time.
c. During parenting time, phones should be turned off and pages also should be turned off unless there is separate agreement (with the IFS provider) about the urgency and need of such devices.
d. Bathroom policies are as follows: If there are issues that require supervision during toileting, such as allegations of sexual abuse, the SVN provider will provide supervision in the bathroom with the parent and child present, if the child is young enough to need supervision. Children who are old enough to use the bathroom without help will use the bathroom while the supervisor and parent remain outside of the bathroom door. The supervisor will enter the bathroom to check on the child’s well-being if such entrance is needed.
e. If child sexual abuse is under investigation, IFS cannot offer services until such investigation is finished, unless a court order over-rides such policy.
f. All things said to the child must be said in a manner so that the supervisor can hear. There cannot be whispering, note-passing, or other efforts to communicate with the child outside of the knowledge or hearing of the supervisor.
g. An IFS provider may cancel/stop a visit if: 1- A child is acutely distressed about the visit, and cannot be calmed; 2- a parent refuses to follow IFS rules, 3- A participant is at imminent risk of harm, and 4- if such participation is ended, that does not mean that supervision cannot be resumed after IFS renews and stabilizes the parents' understanding about how rules must be followed.
h. Any critical incident, such as a child falling from a swing, will be noted in the provider’s notes and will be reported immediately to the parent who is not at the visit.
i. If a parent has violated a provider rule, he or she will be informed, and will be warned that such violation may result in not being able to receive further IFS services.
j. The reason for termination of services will be written down and provided to both parents, and to the referring source, such as attorneys or the court.
k. If a child continually refuses to visit with a parent, supervision will be suspended until professional or court services provide guidance about how/if visitation should be resumed.
l. A parent may not talk about future events or make promises to the child, such as ‘I am going to take you to Disneyland next year” or “You will be having overnights at my house soon.”
INVOLVEMENT OF OTHER PROFESSIONALS IN SUPERVISED PARENTING TIME:
Professionals involved with the family may observe supervised parenting time if the following is in place:
a. A court order requiring such professionals to be involved; or;
b. An agreement by both parents and IFS that the professional be present at parenting time;
c. Provisions for the child(ren)’s comfort level have been met;
d. The professional is involved for one visit only, unless good reason exists, according to the court, or agreement between the parents and IFS supervisor, for more observation of supervised visitation.
*** For Further Policy, please contact IFS: email@example.com