Hannah's House regularly receives phone calls from parents who have questions about the rules, guidelines, laws and expectations of progessional providers of supervised visitation:
1 How close should the supervisor be on outside visits, like a park?
2 Do supervisors have to have special insurance to transport a child in their personal vehicle?
3 Is the supervisor responsible to stop inappropriate video games, or movies, or other screen content?
4 What kind of cellphone use is appropriate for a Supervisor during a supervised visitation?
5 Are supervisors allowed to make recommendations to custody evaluators or to judges?
Here are some of the basic guidelines we offer to our staff on addressing these common issues that occur during supervised visitation:
- Stay close to the child/ren throughout the visit - the standard is 100% eye-shot and earshot
- Scan frequently visually for all parties to your visit to ensure safety and security - if a parent is not close enough to a young child walking along a street or across a street to ensure safety the supervisor must intervene with the parent
- NO parent/child interaction is allowed to be out of 100% eye-shot and earshot of the Supervisor - it is the supervisor's responsibility to ensure that nothing is missed
- NO cell phone use by clients during visits except in an emergency and it must be pre-approved with the Supervisor - this includes the children and the grown-up
- ANY use of a screen of any kind that is going to be shown to a child must be within full site of the Supervisor at all times - pictures/videos from the past can only be shown with pre-approval by the supervisor and the other parent
- If you are too far away to hear an adult on your visit speak in a low voice (or a whisper) then you are too far away - there is never an excuse for missing what is said during a visit
It is important to know that many supervisors use their cell phones or small tablets for documentation purposes while providing services, especially when offsite. Some Clients tend to think sometimes that Supervisors are playing on their phones or texting when in reality they are documenting or communicating with other staff regarding breaks, or questions on how to handle a situation at that particular time.
As a consumer, you should inform yourself about the laws (Family Code 3200.5) and rules (Administrative Rules of Court 5.20) that your supervisor is required to follow. If you believe that your supervisor has behaved unprofessionally; unethically; or conducted him or herself in a biased manner or engaged in a conflict of interest on your case you may file a formal complaint with Michael Roddy, the San Diego Superior Court Administrator. firstname.lastname@example.org.