A peaceful way to ensure parents and children stay connected.
Safe Transitions for Families
Safe Transitions for Families is a FREE, No Contact supervised custody exchange and supervised visitation program. This service is provided by S.A.F.E.
Custody exchanges and supervised visitation may be very anxiety provoking for all parties. Our mission is to promote the physical and emotional security of children and their families. Our goal is to reach families struggling with custody exchanges or supervised visitation for any number of reasons and to facilitate custody actions in a neutral, family-friendly environment.
When a family contacts us for services or is referred to us, we meet with each parent or guardian separately to conduct an interview. At the end of the interview process we assign each parent or guardian their own parking area, entrance and waiting room. SAFE staff have had training in family violence, custody, confidentiality, and de-escalation. They also have their child abuse clearances and criminal background checks. Our location has indoor and outdoor surveillance.
This program is modeled on the Guiding Principles for Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Custody Exchange Grant Program.
“In many instances, criminal cases involve family matters and custody, child welfare etc. are in the mix. A safe exchange program is a huge asset to our community and a wonderful resource for parents, guardians and especially beneficial to the children involved.”
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
- Dani Gorman, Victim Witness Coordinator
Supervised Custody Exchange
We recognize that when custody exchanges do not go well it puts children in the middle of adult issues. When there is a history of family violence or stalking, custody exchanges may be especially dangerous or threatening.
At Safe Transitions for Families, a typical custody exchange goes as follows: one parent will come to the facility and sign in; the coordinator then calls the other parent giving them a small window of time to drop off the children; the children arrive and wait in a child friendly room for about 10 minutes; we then transfer the children to the other parent and they are free to leave the facility.
Our staff consists of 2 volunteers and one coordinator for each exchange.
Supervised visitation custody orders also pose complications for families when there has been family violence. Often the children's grandparents, in-laws, or other relatives are put in an uncomfortable situation in order to have the requirement met. This may put the child's parents under further stress and subject to harassment from their ex's family.
At Safe Transitions,a typical supervised visit will go as follows: the visit will start with the same steps as an exchange; once the children have been transferred to the visiting party, a monitor will observe the visit. The monitor's role is to ensure the visit is safe for the children and that there is no inappropriate conversations or actions between the visiting parent and the children. The monitor does not document the activities of the visit. The visit ends following the same steps as the exchange for transferring the children back to the custodial party.