SUPERVISED ACCESS VISITS & EXCHANGES
AVAILABLE IN ALBERTA & BRITISH COLUMBIA
When parents separate or divorce, visits with the children may be difficult. Parents may prefer, or the Court may order, that a neutral third party oversees visits with children.
In other situations, exchanges or visits are problematic, and supervision of the exchanges may be preferred (or Court ordered) to allow for a safer, less stressful experience for the children and their parents.
The supervised access program provides a safe, neutral, and child-focused setting for children to visit with their non-custodial parent. All visits and exchanges take place under the supervision of trained staff and volunteers.
Our job is to ensure that the visit is safe for the child(ren). We can hear what is said and write a brief, neutral summary of the visit. We will intervene when comments are made that contravene our program guidelines.
The Supervised Access Program Coordinator is available to meet with clients by appointment at the NPL Services Inc. Office. Please call to arrange appointment. 1-877-496-1322 Ext 101
Visits may take place during the following hours:
7 Days per week between the hours of 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM.
Statutory Holidays -9:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Please note while booking a Statutory Holiday Visit, we do charge double our normal fee)
Office Visitation is available only during the following times:
Monday - Friday 5 PM - 9 PM
Saturdays & Sundays 8:00 AM - 4 PM
Supervised Access Fees
$40.00/ Hour ( Co-pay meaning each party pays $20.00/ per hour
$40.00/ per Exchange (An exchanged is a drop off / pick up of a child / children) plus .52/ kilometer
If visits are being conducted in the community at an activity, the parents are responsible for the children's admissions to the activities, as well as the admissions to the activity for the Supervisor. (When doing a visit at a paying activity arrangements must be made with the office 1 week prior to the visit where the planned paid activity is taking place)
How to Apply for Supervised Access
Please read the following instructions before completing the application:
Each parent/guardian must complete and submit a separate application form.
Submitting the application form is a request to participate in the program. It does not guarantee that service will be provided to you. The application form is not a legal document and it does not replace the need for a Family Court Order for custody and access.
Provide a copy of your Court Order, Minutes of Settlement, Endorsement or Mediation Agreement with the application form.
If you do not have a Court Order, a Mutual Agreement signed by both parents/guardians may be provided with the application form. Parents/guardians are encouraged to get legal advice before signing a Mutual Agreement. If your Court Order changes, a new copy must be provided to the centre as soon as possible.
Send completed application forms to the Supervised Access Program.
You can send the form using the following methods:
- Email the application form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax the form to 1-877-496-1322 Ext 101, Attn: S.A.P. Coordinator.
- New applicants will receive a message from us acknowledging receipt of their application. If you have applied, please wait for us to contact you.
The current wait time for the Supervised Access Program is 1 month from the date that both applications from the custodial and non-custodial applicants are received. In some instances the wait list may be longer, however upon contacting our program we can advise how long the wait list is.
Applicants on the wait list will be offered an intake interview in the order in which they applied.
Once both parents/guardians have submitted an application for service and a time for visits becomes available, the program coordinator will call each parent/guardian to schedule a separate intake interview.
During the intake interview, the program coordinator will review your application with you, explain the program guidelines and procedures to you, and collect relevant information about your family history. You will also be asked to sign consents for obtaining and releasing information. The intake usually takes about an hour.
Bring any additional documents that you have to your intake interview.
Additional documents may include:
- Ministry for Children & Family, or other Child Protection Agency documents
- Past or present restraining orders, probation and/or bail conditions;
- Proof of income in order to determine the fees that you will have to pay;
- Any other documents that you feel might be relevant.
The custodial party will bring the child(ren) to an orientation visit at the Supervised Access Centre prior to visits starting.
The orientation is an opportunity for the child(ren) to learn more about our program and have their questions answered.
Download our Intake Form Now:
APPLICATION FORM FOR SUPERVISED ACCESS PROGRAM
* Please note: Your application form is not provided to the other parent. All information submitted is confidential and kept in accordance with the Freedom of Information & Privacy Act legislation.
Frequently Asked Questions by Parents
How long will I wait to start visits?
The wait time for an intake interview, after receiving both applications for service, depends on the number of families requesting service and on the availability of day and time for visits. Once parents have completed the application process and intake interview, the visits can start as soon as there is an opening on a day and time that works for your family. When there is a wait list, there may be a wait of weeks to several months.
When are visits and exchanges possible?
Exchanges are available on a set schedule each week. For example say the access parent has their child Mondays at 5 PM to ,Wednesday at 5 PM. A member of our S.A.P program can conduct the exchange, and will arrive 15 minutes prior to the exchange. Please note the children must be ready for the S.A.P. worker as the S.A.P. worker has other families who they assist. If there is a continuous issue with the children not being ready at the Exchange Time, it may disqualify you from our program.
How much supervision is offered?
S.A.P Office Visit:
There is one trained volunteer or staff to supervise each visit. Up to 1 family may visit for each two hour period for an in office visit. At all times, two experienced staff are on site to provide support to both volunteers and families.
In the Community Visits: Each family will be assigned a Supervised Access Worker, this worker will be your families supervisor for all visits & exchanges. In the event the Supervised Access Worker, is sick or on holidays, you will be assigned a backup worker.
Our goal is to provide the same worker to your family, so that the children, are comfortable during the visits/exchanges.
When would visits be terminated?
Families can remain involved with the Supervised Access Program until the children are 18 years old. Service could be terminated when the program guidelines are breached and resolution can’t be reached. We can’t recommend alternative arrangements so it is up to the parents, their lawyers or the Court to propose alternatives to continued supervised access.
Information for Service Providers and Professionals
Some visits can be organized even when the families are on the wait list, to accommodate the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (O.C.L.) representatives in completing their assessments. The O.C.L. representatives need to have both parents sign an authorization form, giving them permission to receive a copy of the observation notes from the supervised visits and also to attend visits between the non-custodial party and the child(ren).
Children Protection Involvement
We do offer supervised visits when a family is involved with MCFD or other Child Protection Agency.
Please note that if you have an open Child Protection Matter, and if your fees are being paid by MCFD, all observation notes will be made available to the Social Worker or their representative upon written request.
Testifying in Court/ Copies of Observation Notes
Only in extreme cases will our S.A.P. workers appear in court to discuss a Supervised Access Visit. However, if an incident occurs during an access visit, that is a safety issue for the child(ren) we will provide a written incident report to all parties in regards to the Incident.
Observation Notes of the Access visit, are available to the access parent at a fee of .25 per page. Observation Notes will NOT be provided to the Non-Access Parent pertaining to the Access Parents visit, without the written consent of the Access Parent.
What Training does my S.A.P. worker have?
In order to work as a S.A.P. worker with our program, you must have no criminal record, be of good character and conduct. We conduct intense screening of all of our workers on an annual basis. Our S.A.P. workers come from a variety of backgrounds, with one focus in mind. That the safety of children is paramount, and children need both parents. Our workers priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of the children.
What if I have a complaint about my S.A.P. worker?
NPL Services Inc. takes all complaints seriously. In the event that you are having issues with your S.A.P. worker you may contact our office outside of your access visit while the child(ren) are not present. Our S.A.P. program coordinator will attempt to find a resolution for your complaint. If warranted, we will conduct an investigation regarding the S.A.P. worker where the complaint is in relation to safety, or concerns of the child(ren) during an access / exchange visit. In extreme cases we will change workers, however, we attempt to find a resolution to all complaints, as the child(ren) feel most comfortable with the same worker during each visit/exchange.
For further information about the Supervised Access Program
Call: 1-877-496-1322 Ext 102
If you are interested in volunteering with the Supervised Access Program, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator via emailing the SAP Program at email@example.com and insert in the Subject Line: Volunteer Information.
For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator:
Phone: 1-877-496-1322 Ext 101
Fax: 1-877-496-1322 Ext 101