The Orion Supervised Visitation Service is designed so that parents and their children may have safe, supervised contact. Visits may occur at the county offices or in the family home, with the location of visits often being determined by the referral source.
Orion recognizes that sometimes families go through tough times, with challenges to work through and overcome. This does not diminish the love they feel for each other or children’s need for contact with their parents.
Our goal is to facilitate a positive visit that is safe for all family members. It is important for parents to know that our primary job is to ensure the safety of the children, and to observe and record what takes place during the visit.
Orion staff work in partnership with County Services. Information is shared with the family’s social worker as well as the County Court, if the family has a court order for supervised visits. Sharing any other information requires a signed release form that gives us permission to talk to others about the visits.
One exception is Orion staff’s role as mandated reporters. In the event that maltreatment, or evidence of possible maltreatment, is witnessed during a visit, Orion staff is required by law to report it to the county.
Except in that situation, caregiver participation in visits is considered confidential and no information is shared without written permission.
for more information on this services, please contact Samantha Clevenger, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-225-2108.
Who sets up the visits?
The social worker sets up the visits. Visits are scheduled based on parent and child availability. The availability of transportation and supervision are also considered.
How do the children get there?
The county normally arranges transportation for children to visits. Drivers are often volunteers. Social workers set up rides and assign drivers. It is expected that parents will meet drivers and remove children from car seats. At the end of visits, parents wait until drivers arrive, then they buckle children into the seats or car seats.
What can I expect at the visit?
You and your children will be together in the county visitation room or conference room, or your home. Toys and activities available may be limited. You will be expected to interact with your children, and may be asked to provide snacks or meals, depending on the time and length of the visit. You may be able to bring toys, books, etc., but check with your social worker first, as this may not always be in the best interests of the child. During the visit, a Supervised Visit Worker (SVW) will observe and note all interactions between you and your children. While you are in charge of your children during the visit, the SVW may offer suggestions and talk with you about parenting and child behavior. The SVW will intervene in cases where there is a safety risk not addressed by the parent.
Can I bring food?
Possibly, but it is always a good idea to talk to the county worker ahead of time to avoid misunderstandings. If you receive permission to bring food items, talk to the social worker or Supervised Visit Worker ahead of time to ensure that the visit location has facilities to keep hot foods hot and cool foods cool. You may have to make adjustments to what you bring. You will need to provide your own serving utensils, plates, glasses and silverware. Parents are expected to clean up any messes made in the food prep area and in the visitation rooms. Be aware that each situation is unique, so it may not always be possible to have food or snacks at visits.
What can I do at the visit?
You can play, read, eat or talk with your children. There may be a TV available, but not always. You can help with homework, if they bring it, and you can play games.
What can’t I do at the visit?
You cannot talk about the children coming home or any court actions that are pending. You cannot talk about the other parent or the foster parents in negative ways. You cannot bring pets or photos of pets or family members who are not approved to come to visits. You cannot bring people to visits unless they have been preapproved by the family social worker. Please do not talk to or text other people on a cell phone during a visit.
Can we go to the park or a restaurant during the visit?
Trips out of the home or facility must be discussed in advance with the social worker or SVW.
What happens if the weather is bad?
You would have the visit indoors. During some bad weather a visit may need to be cancelled. In this case, contact your social worker as soon as possible to see if it is possible to reschedule the visit. Unfortunately, rescheduling is not always possible due to the schedules of everyone involved.
What should I do if I am running late?
If you know ahead of time that you will be late or may miss a visit, contact your social worker as soon as you can to try and reschedule the visit. If you are running late, call as soon as you can to let the SVW and the SW know. If you are more than 15 minutes late, even if you have called, the visit may be cancelled. Please try to avoid this. It is upsetting to most children.
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