Creating and Maintaining the Visitation Agreement
- Negotiates and signs with the family, caregiver or placement provider a visitation agreement regarding visitation arrangements with parent(s), siblings, relatives and others that are important to the child during the initial case planning conference;
- Reviews the visitation agreement with the participants, at minimum, during each subsequent periodic review of the case plan and revisions are made as appropriate;
- Negotiates the frequency of visits depending on the parent(s) circumstances and the child’s age, however at minimum:
- Within the first week of placement; and
- Every two (2) weeks; Documents any FSOS approved exception regarding the frequency of visits in the case record;
- Follows procedures outlined below after the agreement has been negotiated and signed;
- Follows the procedures outlined in SOP 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning when visitation arrangements need modification prior to a periodic review.
- Ensures that a partnership plan has been negotiated with the parents and caregivers to include discussion surrounding the visitation agreement and to ensure that each individual has input.
- Must approve any exceptions to the minimum standards regarding frequency of visits between parent and child.
The SRA or regional office designee:
- Must approve visits between the child, parents and/or siblings in the DCBS office, unless the court has ordered supervised visits.
- The SSW, Social Services Aide (SSA) or contracted agency staff (where applicable) will supervise visits, however in some special case appropriate situations the foster/adoptive parents, relatives or other persons deemed appropriate may supervise visits, upon approval by the FSOS or designee.
The SSW or designee:
- Uses the Visitation Checklist/Summary to document observations, behaviors and required interventions during the supervised visit;
- Uses the developmentally age appropriate activities chart found on the OOHC Visitation Tip Sheet to assist and guide the parent(s) in thinking about developmentally age appropriate activities that the child will enjoy and promote healthy attachment;
- Encourages the parent to attend medical appointments, school conferences and other activities in which the child is involved;
- Documents each visit in the service recording, including observations of parent-child interactions before, during, and after the visit, when it is supervised;
- Documents the child’s behavior prior to and after visits, as well as, the caregiver’s observations;
- Documents a visit that is not kept, cancelled, or rescheduled;
- Notes the change on the visitation agreement and sends the revised agreement to all parties when a visit is rescheduled (this is the duty of the SSW).
- Grants prior approval for visit cancellations, unless the parent requests cancellation of a visit however the FSOS may grant emergency cancellation and or rescheduling for: 1
- Inclement weather; or
- Other unforeseeable emergencies.
- Occasionally observes visits if visits are not normally supervised;
- Seeks prior written approval from the SRA or designee to suspend a visit if there exists reasonable cause to believe that visitation between a child and a parent or sibling is detrimental to the child’s health, welfare, or physical or emotional condition;
- Documents the circumstances regarding any suspension, including:
- The person(s) involved;
- Their relationship to the child; T
- he reason for the suspension; and The length of the suspension.