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Supervised Visitation
In many cases it may become necessary for the contact between a non-residential parent, and one or more children to be in the presence of a neutral third party responsible for observing and seeking to ensure the safety of those involved.  
What kind of issues could result in parents having their visits supervised?
Domestic violence       Estrangement
Restraining Orders      Mental health-   
Abuse/Neglect               concerns
Alcohol abuse/DWI's
Substance abuse
Deficient parenting skills
What is the purpose?
Supervised visits are designed to assure that a child can have safe contact with their non-residential parent without having to be put in the middle of the parents' conflict or other problems.  
However, there are some significant benefits to parents.  It is a tool that can help families as they go through difficult and/or transitional times.  Some of the benefits for the various family members are:

FOR THE CHILDREN:

  • It allows the children to maintain a relationship with both parents, something that is found to be an important factor in the positive adjustment to family dissolution.
  • It allows them to anticipate the visits without stress of worrying about what is going to happen. They can enjoy the time in a safe, comfortable environment without having to be put in the middle of their parents' conflict or other problems.

FOR THE RESIDENTIAL PARENT:
  • You do not have to communicate or have contact with a person with whom you are in conflict or by whom you might be frightened or intimidated. The arrangements can be made by a neutral party, and there does not have to be contact before, during, or after the visits.
  • You can relax and feel comfortable allowing your child to have contact with the other parent and can get some valuable time to yourself.

FOR THE NON-RESIDENTIAL PARENT:
  • You can be sure that your contact with your children does not have to be interrupted regardless of any personal or interpersonal problems you may be having.
  • If allegations have been made against you, which is often the case when supervision is ordered, you can visit without fear of any new accusations because there is someone present who can verify what happened during your time together.
  • When using a professional service, you can be assured that the supervisors are trained, nuetral, and objective.

The Supervised Visitation Program is a combined effort of the New Jersey Superior Court, Burlington Vicinage, and The Fatherhood Connection Inc. We realize that participation in the program can be stressful for many parents. Our goal is to provide you and your children with a respectful and professional service.  
Why not use a friend or relative instead of a professional service, particularly when there is a fee involved? Many court orders will allow that as an option providing that both parties can agree on who to use, and, providing that the person is appropriate to supervise. That often does not work out for the following reasons: First, it is the difficulty in finding someone on whom you both agree.  If you are having sufficient conflict that supervision was deemed necessary, then chances are slim that you will find an individual you both will trust and feel comfortable with.  Secondly, it puts a real strain on friendships.  Many well-meaning friends and relatives will agree to provide the service but will quickly tire of the regular commitment and/or being in the middle of your conflict.  It is difficult for friends and relatives to refrain from taking sides.  Once neutrality is loss, then the credibility of the "supervisor" will come into question.  And finally, it may actually detract from the quality of the parent/child time together.  

Kids Loe Their Dads®