V. E. Visitation

Effective 11/8/05

<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>

Navigation:  Child and Family Services Policy > Section V - Services to Children in Substitute Care >

V. E. Visitation

Effective 11/8/05

Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

Visitation between a child in the custody of the Department of Health & Human Services and his/her parent(s), family member, or others, is an important component in helping the child maintain relationships.  Further, visitation can facilitate a child’s progress toward permanency.  Additionally, it helps the child adjust to being in an out-of-home placement. Office of Child & Family Services (OCFS) supports placements that promote family, sibling, and community connections.  OCFS recognizes that the removal of a child from his or her home and/or community has a significant impact on both the child and the family.  OCFS is committed to lessening this impact. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is to encourage and promote visitation in a natural setting. A child’s well-being and emotional and physical safety must always be the primary goal.


1.For children in the custody of the Department of Human Services under the Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act, visitation is referenced under 22 MRSA §4041 Subsection.1-A.; §4041 Subsection 2, Paragraph C. and §4034, subsection 6.  This latter section requires the Department to schedule visitation with the child’s parents and siblings within seven days of the issuance of the preliminary protection order, unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.  The law specifies that unless a court has ceased reunification, a rehabilitation/reunification plan must be developed and must include a schedule of visits between the child and parent, when not detrimental to a child’s best interest.  The Court may order visitation to take place after a cease reunification order when a TPR will not be initiated (§4041, 2, C)
2.For children in the custody of the Department, under the divorce law, there are not statutory requirements regarding visitation; however, the same policy will be applied for the children as under the Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act.  The Juvenile Code (Title 15 MRSA §3315, Subsection 1) requires that visitation of children in custody under this code be governed by the same requirements as children in custody under Title 22 MRSA.
3.For children surrendered and released for adoption under the adoption law, there is no visitation required by the statute.  However, this does not disallow visitation to continue, if it is in the best interests of the children.
4.Under Title 22 §4005-E, a grandparent who is designated as an interested person or a participant under §4005-D or who has been granted intervenor status under the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 24, may request the court to grant reasonable rights of visitation or access.
5.Under Title 22 MRSA §4035,sub-section 2A , there is a rebut table presumption that the person seeking custody or contact with the child would create a situation of jeopardy for the child if any contact were to be permitted and that contact is not in the best interests of the child if the court finds that the person has been convicted of an offense listed in Title 19-A, §1653, subsection 6-A,paragraph A in which the victim was a minor at the time of the offense and the person was at least 5 years older than the minor at the time of the offense except that if the offense was gross sexual assault under Title 17-A, § 253,subsection 1, paragraph B or C, and the minor victim submitted as a result of compulsion, the presumption applies regardless of the ages of the person and the minor victim at the time of the offense; or if the person has been adjudicated in an action under Title 22, chapter 1071 of sexually abusing a person who was a minor at the time of the abuse. The person seeking custody or contact with the child may produce evidence to rebut the presumption.

For purposes of the above-cited section,  "child-related sexual offense" means the following sexual offenses if, at the time of the commission of the offense, the victim was under 18 years of age: (1)-Sexual exploitation of a minor, under Title 17-A, §282; (2)- Gross sexual assault, under Title 17-A, §253;(3)- Sexual abuse of a minor, under Title 17- A, §254; (4)- Unlawful sexual contact, under Title 17-A, §255-A or former§ 255; (5)-Visual sexual aggression against a child, under Title 17-A, § 256;(6)- Sexual misconduct with a child under 14 years of age, under Title 17-A, §258;(6A)-Solicitation of  a child by computer to commit a prohibited act, under Title 17-A, §259,or (7) An offense in another jurisdiction , including , but not limited to , that of a state , federal , military or tribal court, that includes the essential elements of an offense listed in subparagraph(1), (2), (3), (4), (5),(6),or(6-A).

Under Title 22, §4035, Sub-section B, there is a rebut table presumption that a person responsible for the child would create a situation of jeopardy for the child if the person allows, encourages or fails to prevent contact between the child and a person who has been convicted of an offense listed in Title 19-A, §1653, subsection 6-A, paragraph A in which the victim was a minor; or the person has been adjudicated in an action under Title 22, Chapter 1071 of sexually abusing a minor at the time of the abuse.  The person responsible for the child may produce evidence to rebut the presumption.  



Visitation between children in care and their parents, siblings, extended family members, or other significant persons serves many purposes.  Visits not only promote continuity, but may serve additional functions in aiding progress toward permanency goals identified in the child’s case plan. Some of these purposes include:  

§Visitation can be a positive intervention for the entire family and can promote successful reunification.
§Visits reassure children that their families are alive and well and still care about them.  Frequent contact with parents can reduce children’s anxiety associated with separation.  Other types of contact, including exchange of phone calls, cards, and letters, will also serve this purpose.
§Frequent visitation reassures parents that the agency is committed to maintaining and strengthening family relationships.
§Visits present the caseworker with a valuable opportunity to help family members identify their needs and strengths.  By observing family members together, the worker can elicit important information about the quality of the parent-child relationship, as well as gain insight into the parents’ developmental needs, motivation, and capacity to resume care of their children.  
§Family visits can be used as interventions to achieve specific objectives.  For example, foster or relative caregivers may use visits to model parenting skills and to share child management strategies. During visits, parents can practice newly acquired parenting strategies and can receive immediate, constructive feedback and coaching from the caseworker or caregiver.
§Visits may help parents understand the importance of permanency for their child. The visits can help them make a final decision regarding whether they want to diligently pursue reunification or relinquish their parental rights, thereby allowing  their child to achieve permanency through another plan, such as adoption or guardianship.
§Sibling visitation allows these important relationships to be maintained, even when siblings must be placed in separate homes.
§Visitation with extended family is encouraged whenever possible. Extended family connections are important to the child’s development and often serve as alternative permanency plans if reunification does not take place.



Planning for quality visitation relies upon the parents’ participation. It utilizes their own areas of strength, their identification of problem areas, and their ideas about ways in which to enhance the quality of the visits. This planning will occur during a Family Team Meeting or similar collaborative meeting with the family. The purpose and goals of the visits should be clearly articulated to all participants, put in writing, and incorporated into the Child and Family Plan. Family visitation should be individualized to support the child’s needs, case plan, and permanency goal.  The visitation plan should always include open disclosure, including a communication plan in which parents are promptly provided with constructive feedback.  By discussing the successful aspects of the visit, as well as identifying concerns regarding problematic behaviors, the visits are more likely to have successful outcomes. Visitation should be thought of as a tool to assess and enhance family strengths. The visitation plan is fluid in nature and should allow for changes as necessary. Visitation can be a very effective tool in reunifying families and gauging progress towards permanency.


Visitation should occur in the most natural setting that will also meet the safety needs of the child.  Supervision of visits is to be determined based on the individual situation, and is not necessary in many cases. The need and justification for supervision will be communicated to the family.  Many families are capable of interacting with their children in an unsupervised setting, while maintaining the child’s need for safety.  This does not preclude caseworkers from attending visits or portions of visits to observe interaction and help strengthen connections.


Facilitated visits are those in which the supervision also provides the parents with the opportunity to address family dynamics which have become obstacles in the rebuilding of positive family relationships.  Facilitation involves the visit supervisor assisting the parent by role modeling behavior and engaging the family members in quality parent-child interaction. By providing feed-back to the parent following the visit, the facilitator aids the parents in gaining insight into the family dynamics.  Facilitated visitation, although an important component in enhancing the quality of the visit, is not a determining factor in deciding whether or not a visit occurs.  If a facilitator is unable to attend the visit, or if it is not necessary to have a facilitator at all visits, the visit may still occur and be unsupervised.  More restrictive supervision is necessary only when there are concerns about safety of the child in the visit setting.  During these more restrictive supervised visits, it is important that the visits also provide components of facilitated visitation in the effort to assist with rebuilding positive family relationships.


Family Reunification:

It is the caseworker’s responsibility to encourage parents to maintain the parental role, even though their children are not currently placed with them.  This helps validate their continued importance in their children’s lives.  OCFS recognizes that family members know the most about their own families.  It is our responsibility to understand children and families within the context of their own family rules, traditions, history, and culture.  In arranging an individualized visitation schedule for the parents and their children, the caseworker, in consultation with supervisor, will determine if visitation can commence on an unsupervised basis or if a certain level of supervision is required.  Many parents have the ability to ensure their child’s safety during visitation, even though their current life circumstances preclude their child from being safely placed in their home. When parents are treated like partners in decision-making regarding the lives of their children, then the likelihood increases that the bonds will be strengthened, and the parents will be that much more invested in participating in efforts being made to assist them with reunification. The family’s involvement in the development of the visitation plan will occur in the Family Team Meeting setting.  In addition to regularly scheduled visits, parents should be informed of and encouraged to attend appointments and activities involving their children, such as medical appointments and school activities.


Factors the caseworker will be considering as a visitation plan is being developed include:

1.The child may have expectations and anxieties regarding visitation. The child should have input into planning where visits take place and whom they want included in the visit.  It should be expected that children may have adverse reactions or anxiety surrounding visits.  It is the responsibility of the team to explore this with the child rather than just determining that visits are detrimental. Preparation of the child prior to a visit and processing the visit with the child following the visit are both essential steps in the process, and will help the child feel more secure about the visit. It will also be important for the caseworker to check in with the child’s caregiver in order to assess the child’s reactions to the visit.
2.The parents may have expectations and anxieties regarding visitation. Pre-teaching with parents can help parents better understand how their child may be feeling, and how to help make the child comfortable during visits. Caseworkers will discuss with parents the appropriate parameters of visits.  Facilitated visitation may help prepare parents to appropriately respond to questions asked by their children, including questions about the need for the child to enter or continue in DHHS custody.  
3.When visits need to be supervised, the reasons will be clearly outlined and documented in the plan created with the parents. The plan will recommend steps to assist the family in progressing toward safe, unsupervised contact as soon as possible. In situations where an agency or group home/residential provider is providing the supervision service, the caseworker and visitation supervisor will collaborate to determine the appropriate level of supervision needed for this specific family. Use of the Family Team Meeting for the purpose of discussing initial supervision needs, as well as for reviewing progress made toward safe and unsupervised contact is recommended.  It is important to include, as members of the Family Team Meeting, those who supervise the visits, as their observations and insight are crucial in the process of reviewing progress made by the parents during the visitation.
4.The caseworker will attend some visits to observe the interaction between the parent and child, in order to offer constructive feedback to the parent. Soon after the visit, the caseworker and parent will discuss the quality of the visits, the progress being made toward reunification as a result of the visits, and any concerns that have arisen. The caseworker’s monthly contact with the parent may be an opportune time to discuss the quality of parent-child visitation.  
5.The caseworker will discuss the visitation schedule and structure with the foster parents or caregivers, both prior to visits commencing and periodically thereafter.  Caregiver input is important in understanding how the child is functioning, while anticipating visits and after returning from visits.  Caregivers will be educated on the difficulties children may encounter as a result of visits, as the children are often grieving for their family and familiar surroundings.  Caregivers will also be educated on the importance of establishing a relationship with the child’s parents. They can learn many things about the child from the parent, such as the child’s likes, dislikes, and daily routines. In turn, they can share with the parents how the child is doing in their home.  Foster parents and kinship caregivers should be encouraged to facilitate visits as this creates a more normal situation for the child.  When positive relationships are developed between birth parents and foster parents, the foster parent may remain as a visiting resource for the child and family after the child’s return home.
6.Frequency and duration of visits will be based on many factors including the age of the child.  It is especially critical for young children to visit parents frequently in order to maintain bonding. The child’s schedule and activities should also be considered.  
7.As substantial progress is made toward reunification, the Family Team Meeting participants will meet to discuss and make decisions regarding overnight visitation.
8.Prior to a trial home placement a Family Team Meeting must occur.


APPLA (Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement):

It is important for youth with a goal of "alternative planned living arrangement" or "self-sufficient adulthood" to maintain positive relationships or re-connect with family, sibling, extended family, and supportive community relationships.  The justification for visits between children and their parents continuing after family reunification has ended is as follows:

1.To maintain connections between a child and his or her biological family, including siblings, and to reinforce the strength of those relationships.
2.To provide information to the parent and child about each other’s current circumstances in order to alleviate any anxieties each may have been experiencing.
3.To help a child who is transitioning out of the child welfare system with re-establishing a relationship with his/her family if s/he wishes to do so.
4.To continue to assess the safety of the biological family environment if the child desires to re-connect with the birth family.  
5.To reconnect the child with extended family and supportive community relationships.



The objective for visits for children whose goal is adoption is to help maintain healthy relationships to the greatest extent possible. While there is no open adoption law in Maine, there is no provision that prohibits birth family contact, when deemed safe and in the best interest of the child. Preferably, prior to a termination of parental rights, the caseworker will assess whether continued visits will occur with biological parents, extended family, and siblings, are in the best interests of the child.  This assessment will be communicated to the prospective adoptive family.  It is the adoptive family’s decision as to whether post-adoption contact occurs, and what type of contact that is. However, consideration should be given in the adoptive family selection process, to families that are willing to maintain contact in a mutually supportive and respectful manner.


When it is determined that continued contact is not in the child’s best interest, a goodbye visit(s) should be arranged which can serve several purposes:

1.To offer an opportunity for a child and birthparent(s) to express good-bye to each other, recognizing that a child may eventually reconnect with his or her biological family.
2.For the parent to send the child a supportive message to move on to a new permanent family.
3.Where advisable, sharing of relevant family history and exchange of information on the Maine Adoption Reunion Registry.


1.Initial phase:  Title 22, §4034 (6) requires that:

If it is believed there is a compelling reason for visits not to take place, the caseworker should seek supervisor approval in consultation with the AAG. The decision should be clearly documented in the narrative log, and an immediate explanation should be provided to the family members. This decision also needs to be documented in the Child’s Plan.


2.Special Considerations in Cases Involving Sexual Abuse or Domestic Violence:  

The first priority of the Department is a child’s emotional and physical safety. It is particularly important to maintain kinship and community ties to facilitate future attachment, well-being, and permanency. If there is reason to believe that a child would be further traumatized, and if s/he does not feel safe during visits, then the child should not be made to visit until his/her caseworker, in consultation with team members, believes such visits would benefit the child. In making this decision, the caseworker needs to consider issues of grief, loss, and attachment. Reminder: the long-term best interest of a child is best met when past, present and future connections can be maintained.  

In child abuse cases where domestic violence dynamics are present, the cases are complex and can affect children in a profound way on an emotional level even if they are not physically harmed.  In planning visits, one needs to take into account the child’s need and desire to see both parents, as well as the child’s view of each parent. In visitation planning for cases involving domestic violence, careful consideration should be given to the safety of all family members. Parents involved in these cases will not visit the child together, until such a time that intervention and treatment specialists determine such visits pose no threat to any family member.

In sexual abuse cases, the Department cannot allow contact between a child and a person convicted or adjudicated of a sexual offense without making the Court aware of the need and/or desire of the child to have a visit with the offender. The Court must provide consent to the visit occurring. An Act to Protect Children from Individuals who have Engaged in Sexual Abuse of Children in the Past (Title 22 MRSA §4035, subsection 2-A) creates a presumption that contact between a child and someone who has been convicted of a sex crime (there is a defined list of applicable crimes) against a minor, or who has been adjudicated in a child protection action of sexually abusing a minor, is not in the best interests of the child. A parent or person responsible for a child creates a situation of jeopardy for a child if the parent "allows, encourages, or fails to prevent contact" between the child and adjudicated person.

When seeking a Preliminary Protection Order, the caseworker will apprise the Court of a parent’s previous conviction of a child-related sexual offense, or of parent’s history of being adjudicated in an action under Title 22, chapter 1071 of sexually abusing a minor. If the Department believes that this person can safely participate in visits with the child who is the subject of the Preliminary Protection Order, then the Departmental representative must present in the Petition for a Preliminary Protection Order the reasons for the belief that such contact will not create a situation of jeopardy for the child, as well as the reasons why the visits between the child and this individual are viewed as being in the best interests of the child.

In situations where a child is asking for contact with a person who in the past was either convicted of a sexual offense or adjudicated in a child protective action of sexually abusing a minor, then the caseworker for the child will contact the AAG. The AAG will then research the nature of the criminal offense and adjudication and will bring the issue to the Court’s attention. In these situations, visits will not occur until the Court gives permission for the child to have contact with the person convicted of a sexual offense or adjudicated in a child protective action of sexually abusing a child.


3.Best interest:  

In all situations and cases, a child’s best interests must be taken into account.  Visits will, in most cases, be beneficial to the children and family members involved.  In some cases, visits may be deemed detrimental to a child’s best interests if a child’s functioning is impaired and determined to be related to contact with the parent.  


4.Ceasing, not commencing, or suspending visits:  

Ceasing or suspending a parent’s visits with his or her child should be carefully thought out prior to implementation.  Alternative options must also be explored (below). If at any time there is sufficient evidence that the act of visiting is detrimental to the child, the visit should cease until circumstances change.  Consultation with a casework supervisor and AAG is essential.  A motion for an expedited review requesting the change must be filed with the court prior to the change.  In emergency situations where a child would be unsafe, visits can be suspended, with proper notice to the parties involved. One must not only consider the reaction of and impact on the child and his or her family, but also the Court Order and opinion of the therapist and Guardian ad litem.   A child’s well-being and emotional and physical safety must always be the primary concern.  If the visits are being ceased or suspended due to a child’s statements or reactions after visits, one must assess this carefully and consider:

§The child’s situation and reasons for requesting that visits be ceased;
§Any actions, behaviors, or circumstances on the part of the parent that led to the request;
§The child’s age and level of functioning;
§Whether an evaluation should be obtained, focusing on the parent/child contact;
§The therapist’s recommendations;
§Whether modifying or adding structure to the visits would be a better alternative to ceasing visitation;
§Whether continued contact can occur in some other fashion (letters or telephone calls);
§Is the situation that is being reported interpreted accurately by the child, visitation supervisor, foster parents, or primary caregivers, i.e., are the child’s statements being influenced by someone; and
§Explore with the child what would be necessary for the child to feel comfortable in a visit setting.

When visits are ceased or suspended, the following people should be notified:  the child, the parent or relative visiting, the visitation supervisor, the foster parents or primary caregiver, the guardian ad litem, the AAG, the parent’s attorneys and the therapist(s).  Whenever possible, the parent should be notified in person or over the phone, with a clear explanation for the change.  This notification should be followed up in writing.



 (As Conveyed to the Parents by the Caseworker)

§Participating in the planning for visits, usually through a Family Team meeting;
§Ensuring the emotional and physical safety and well-being of his or her child;
§Calling as far in advance as possible to cancel visits, so a child may be less likely to feel rejection and disappointment from a no-show visit;
§Planning an activity to encourage the child’s participation during the visits;
§Taking the parental role during interactions with his or her child; and
§Expect and respond to direction from the visit supervisor or facilitator when the visits are supervised or facilitated.



Foster parents spend more time with a child in their care than anyone else.  Therefore, they have more knowledge and perhaps insight into a child’s day-to-day functioning and emotional needs.  Foster parents are providing a safe and eventually familiar home for a child in their care.  This makes it valuable in many cases for foster parents/caregivers to supervise visits in the foster home. Initially, foster parents may need support and education in supervision of visits and in the process of arranging and negotiating appropriate birth family contact throughout the case, to develop a sense of normalcy – much like extended family. A positive relationship between the birth family and the foster family can lead to more concurrent and timely outcomes of reunification and adoption. The following must be considered prior to making such a visitation plan:

§The safety of all parties;
§The capacity and willingness of foster parents to support and facilitate the goals of a child’s visitation plan (including rehabilitation and reunification); and
§A family member’s ability to make effective use of visits supervised by foster parents.




Family Visitation Service Guidelines


It is important that parents take part in planning for visits with their children.  As parent, you know what makes your child feel comfortable.  Much of the planning for visits will happen in the Family Team Meeting (FTM) which your caseworker will arrange.

At the FTM, you and your team will talk about how much supervision or facilitation would be best for you and your child during your visits. Visits may be supervised until your caseworker and Family Team determine that the visit safety concerns have been resolved. Visits are facilitated to help parents plan for successful visits and strengthen their relationship with their children. During facilitated visits, the visit support worker may be present for all or part of the visit. Either before or after a supervised or facilitated visit, the visit support worker will share his/her observations and offer suggestions you may try at the next visit. Visits can give you the chance to show progress in the changes you must make in order for your child to be returned to your care.

At the Family Team Meeting, the team will agree on the best place for you to have good visits. For example, visits may be held at an agency, in the community, or in your home. Decisions will be made by the team about how your children will get to see each other and who will make this happen.

If you are a visitor who is not a parent, it is still important that you and the child’s DHHS caseworker go through these guidelines and decide which ones apply to you.

In setting up visits, it is important that each person has a clear understanding of his or her responsibilities:


Parent Responsibilities        

1.As parent, what you say and do is important to your child’s feeling of safety. If during the visit, your visit support worker becomes worried about your child’s safety, he or she will work with you to make sure your child stays safe. If this does not work, the visit support worker is required by DHHS to end the visit. If the visit is ended early, the visit support worker will talk with you as soon as possible so that you both can share thoughts and feelings about what happened and plan together how to make future visits successful. If you and the visit support worker would find it helpful, your caseworker will take part in this discussion.


2.We respect your responsibility to parent your child during visits. As your child’s parent, you should feel free to meet your child’s physical and emotional needs, such as changing diapers or setting limits on your child’s behavior. If you need help, the visit support worker can give you suggestions.


3.If your child needs to take medication during the visit, and you wish to give the medication, you will be responsible for doing so, with the support of the visit support worker.


4.It is important that you help your children cope with the feelings they are having due to separation from their family and home. If news about family could cause your child sadness or worry, then before the visit begins, please feel free to discuss with your visit support worker how best to share this news with your child.


5.Your child may wish to do things by himself or herself at times during the visit. This is OK. If you want to just sit and watch your child for awhile, this is OK too.


6.Please plan activities for you and your child to do together.  If you would like help with ideas, you can ask the visit support worker or caseworker for help before your next visit.


7.If you bring a snack for your child, please also bring needed eating utensils or paper plates, as these may not be available at the place where you visit.


8.For your child’s sake, try to keep visits positive for your child. Think of things to talk about that will make your child feel comfortable and supported. If your child asks you questions that are hard to answer, such as asking when she or he will be coming home again, try to answer as honestly and simply as you can. Remember that promises and time frames can be disappointing to children if these things do not happen.  If you would like suggestions on how to answer these hard questions, your visit support worker and your caseworker can help you with ideas.


9.You may photograph or videotape your child, unless your caseworker has said that you may not do so. If you want to photograph your child, plan to bring your own camera. Please ask the visit support worker’s permission before including him or her in the photos and video-tapes.


10.Either before or after a visit, you and your visit support worker will talk about how the visits are going.


Visit Support Worker Responsibilities


1.Your visit support worker’s most important job is to make sure your child is safe.  It is also your visit support worker’s job to help make visits as positive and supported as they can be.


2.Your visit support worker will meet with you before your first visit so that together you can talk about how to make the visits as positive and supported as possible. The visit support worker will ask you what things he or she could do to help make the visit feel comfortable and natural for you and your child.


3.Your visit support worker will be responsible for providing a safe, natural, and comfortable place for your visits until your Family Team, of which you are a very important member, makes a decision about the best place for you to visit with your child.


4.Your visit support worker will respect your responsibility to parent your child and will help you if you need suggestions about how to make your visits better.


5.If your child needs to take medication during the visit, and your DHHS caseworker has given approval for you to give your child medications, the visit support worker will tell you about the medication-what it is, what it is for, and how and when it should be given to your child. The visit support worker may supervise you giving the medication to your child. If the visit support worker is concerned about your ability to give medication to your child, he or she will talk with your DHHS caseworker to discuss concerns and another plan may be made.


6. Your visit support worker will be taking notes of how you and your child are doing together, and will give these notes to your DHHS caseworker.  Your visit support worker will be talking with you either before or after visits and will share what he or she saw during your visit, including sharing of the notes taken during the visit. Your visit support worker will suggest ways you can improve your visits and strengthen your relationship with your child.


7.If your visit support worker observes behavior that is harmful to your child’s safety during your visit, he or she will work with you to make sure your child stays safe.  If this does not work, then the support worker must end the visit. If the visit is ended early, the visit support worker will talk with you as soon as possible so that you both can share thoughts and feelings about what happened and plan together how to make future visits successful. If you and the visit support worker would find it helpful, your caseworker will take part in this discussion.


DHHS Caseworker Responsibilities


1.Your caseworker will set up a Family Team Meeting to discuss the guidelines for visitation between you and your child. You will be a very important member of the Team that decides whether the visits need to be supervised for safety reasons, or if they need to be facilitated. The caseworker will discuss with you how the visit support worker can help you plan for the visits and help strengthen your relationship with your child.


2.If an interpreter is needed at the visits, this must be discussed with your caseworker and team before your visits, as the caseworker will need to make arrangements.


3.Your caseworker will provide the visit support worker with needed information on the referral form so that the visit decisions by the family team are clearly shared. Your caseworker will talk with you and your visit support worker to stay current on how visits are going.  As needed, your caseworker can change the level of supervision or facilitation that you get during visits.


4.If your child needs to take medication during the visit, your caseworker will either provide your visit support worker with the written directions for giving the medication, or will ask your child’s foster parent to provide the written directions to your visit support worker. Your caseworker will let your visit support worker know whether you may give the medication to your child, with supervision from the visit support worker.


5.The caseworker is responsible for telling your visit support worker that your plan to have a family friend or relative join the visit was discussed and approved.


6.If a visit needs to be supervised for safety reasons, your caseworker will discuss with you whether or not you are allowed to take photographs or video-tapes during the visit. Before your visit, your caseworker will let you know if your visit support worker will need to see written correspondence, photographs, gifts, and toys before you share them with your child.


7.In an effort to move as quickly as possible from supervised to facilitated visits, your caseworker will invite your visit support worker to Family Team Meetings when visits are discussed. At these meetings, your visit support worker can share observations with you and the rest of the team on how you and your child are doing during visits.


8.If your visit support worker was not present at a Family Team Meeting, your caseworker is responsible for promptly telling him or her about any changes made by the team to the visitation plan.


9.If a visit has to end early to keep your child safe, the visit support worker will talk with you as soon as possible so that you can both share thoughts and feelings about what happened and plan together how to make future visits successful. If you and your visit support worker would find it helpful, your caseworker will take part in this discussion.


These guidelines have been discussed with me. I have received a copy and have been given the opportunity to ask questions. I have read, understand, and agree to follow these visitation guidelines.



Visitor:                                          Date:  


Visitor:                                      Date:  


I have reviewed these visitation guidelines with the visitor.

Signature:                                Date:                            

Visitor:                                Phone Number:

Caseworker:                                        Phone Number:

Visit Support Worker:                Phone Number: