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Q&A

What is supervised access?

When parents separate or divorce, access visits with children may be a problem. Sometimes, difficulties arise at the time of the exchange of the child between custodial and non-custodial parent. Other times there may be concerns about the visits themselves. We provide a setting where visits and exchanges can take place under the supervision of trained staff. Upon request, we also provide the court, lawyers and the parties themselves with copies of our observation reports.

 

What is the difference between a custodial parent/party and non-custodial parent/party?
The custodial party is the person who has permanent or temporary custody of the child. In other words, the custodial party is the person who the child lives with and who is primarily responsible for the child. Usually the custodial party is a parent, but sometimes a custodial party is a relative or family friend. The non-custodial party is usually the child’s other parent, who does not reside with the child. Custody of a child may be as determined by a court order or as agreed by parents in a separation agreement.

 

What is the difference between a supervised access visit and supervised transfer?
In a supervised visit, a non-custodial party visits with his or her children at our access centre.  The visit is supervised by the Supervised Access Centre (SAC) staff.

In a supervised transfer, the custodial party brings the child to the SAC.  The child is then transferred into the care of the non-custodial party by the SAC staff; they then have an unsupervised visit away from the SAC.  After the visit, the non-custodial party brings the child back to the SAC, where the child is returned to his or her custodial party by SAC staff.

 

What are the objectives of supervised access?

  • To provide a safe, neutral, and child-focussed setting for a child to be transferred between the custodial and non-custodial party or for visits between a child and the non-custodial party
  • To provide the court and/or lawyers with factual observation notes about the participants’ use of our services
  • To ensure the safety of all participants, including staff
  • To provide trained staff and volunteers who are sensitive to the needs of children

 

Where does the supervised access take place?
Access typically occurs at our Supervised Access Centre.  If it is agreed upon by both parties or court ordered, we can accommodate visits that are supervised in the community.

 

How are access visits arranged?
Visits occur based on an arrangement to which the parties have voluntarily agreed or based on a court order.  Non-court ordered visits will be scheduled based on the program’s availability and each party’s availability; however, please remember that your children’s needs are most important, and the scheduled visits will be made based on what is best for them.

We accommodate visits that occur after business hours and on the weekends.

 
Who supervises visits?
The person supervising your visit in our particular visiting program is called an Access Care Facilitator (ACF).  His/Her job is to ensure that your visit is safe and comfortable.  The facilitator will make notes throughout the session or after the end of the session.  He/she is not there to intrude on your visit; however, if difficulties arise he/she may be required to be redirect the participants to ensure the best interest of the child(ren) is upheld.

 

What makes a client eligible for services?

 

Can I use the Supervised Access Centre if I live outside of Durham region, the province or country?
Yes, as long as both parties agree to the use of the program and visits comply with the court order, if applicable.

 

How soon can visits begin?
Once both parties have completed their intake interview, visits will begin based on the SAC schedule availability.  We are unable to guarantee a specific time period; however, visits typically begin within two weeks after intake interviews are completed.

 

Can I get my money back if I change my mind after the intake interview?
No, fees are non-refundable.
 

What if I cannot afford to pay the fees?
A sliding fee scale can be used for those who demonstrate a need via written request.  Our Custody and Access Coordinator will review the request.

 

Does Bleau Associates ever deny service?
Yes, our program reserves the right to refuse, cancel, or terminate visits if any of the following occurs:

  • A violation of the service agreement
  • The non-custodial party misses three consecutive visits without any notice
  • The non-custodial party arrives under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • There is a refusal of either party to sign the Agreement for Service document

 

How long can I use the access program?
The SAC is available for as long as parties require our services.  There is no minimum amount of visits required.

 

What if I am a newcomer to Canada and cannot speak English?
You will be required to make arrangements for a translator to attend each visit.

 

How can I obtain copies of the observation reports?
Submit a request in writing or verbally and allow at least 48 hours for the Centre to prepare the documents for you.
 

Are there any fees required for requesting observation reports or any other documents in the file?
Yes, there is a fee of $25 plus HST, per request, per party.

 
What are the policies and procedures of the Supervised Access Centre?
We encourage you to review our Parent Guidebook and Policies and Procedures to obtain information regarding missed visits, cancelled visits, visitors, etc.  Please feel free to contact us at (905) 743-0038 if you need clarification or have additional questions.