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At The Mediation Center, we believe that every child should have an opportunity to form positive, safe, and healthy relationships with their parents. Sometimes, parents and children need support to develop these relationships.
About Our Family Visitation Program (FVP)
The Mediation Center’s Family Visitation Program provides child-focused services for families who are navigating—often court-ordered—visitation between a non-custodial parent and their child. Often, FVP serves families with a history of past conflict or violence. Prioritizing safety, FVP minimizes interactions between parents.
FVP is committed to: 1) helping parents establish and maintain positive relationships with their children if possible and 2) creating an environment for visits between children and parents that is safe and secure for everyone involved in the visitation process.
We serve families in Buncombe, Henderson, and Transylvania counties. In both Henderson and Buncombe counties, FVP provides services at our local offices. In Transylvania County, we operate limited hours from The Children’s Center building.
Our primary goal is to ensure the safety of every person who uses our services.
Our Family Visitation Program services are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of families with a history of domestic violence or high-conflict custody disputes. Supervised visitation and safe exchange services enable children to build relationships with their non-custodial parent in a safe, structured environment. There is no contact between parents before, during, or after visits. No contact between parents minimizes the negative effects of interactions between parents.
Throughout supervised visitation or safe exchange, our number one goal is to keep all parties safe. We always take security measures for our clients’ safety. We have a surveillance system and team of highly-trained staff monitors. The physical layout of our offices enables parents to have no contact with one another. Our trained staff facilitates positive, healthy, and peaceful interactions between children and parents.
***We can offer a maximum of one hour of supervised visitation once a week.***
Unfortunately, we cannot provide services to foster care cases. However, if you are a parent seeking support to coordinate safe non-custodial parent visits with children, we can help!
FVP Supervised Visitation
The Family Visitation Program offers supervised visitation services. Supervised visitation facilitates positive, safe interactions between children and non-custodial parents. The two parents never have direct contact during supervised visits.
A trained visit monitor is present for each visit. Our visit monitors enact Family Visitation Program policies and procedures to ensure the safety of all parties. The visit monitor also provides support to the visiting parent to improve the quality of their visit. The non-custodial parent and the other parent do not have contact with one another at any point while using this service.
Our supervised visitations occur in bright rooms filled with toys, games, snacks, and art supplies for children of all ages. We encourage custodial guardians to schedule a time to bring children to our offices. That way, children can familiarize themselves with the environment before services start. Our staff is sensitive to your child’s needs and will help to make their experience positive.
BENEFITS OF SUPERVISED VISITATION
- Parents have no contact with one another. Parents work with FVP instead of the other parent to arrange visits. FVP staff makes all visit arrangements.
- Children can look forward to visits without stress or worry.
- Visit monitors ensure physical and emotional safety. Additionally, visit monitors prevent inappropriate conversations that place children in the middle.
- Non-custodial parents maintain a relationship with their child when they may not otherwise be able to see them.
- Visit monitors take objective, neutral notes during each visit.
- Non-custodial parents can get extra support to rebuild a relationship with their children.
FVP Safe Exchange
Safe Exchange enables children to move between parents for unsupervised short visits (up to 5 hours) or weekends without the parents having contact. FVP coordinates the safe exchange schedule. That way, each parent arrives and departs at one of our offices at a unique time, using a different entrance. Children are not dropped off at the program. Instead, FVP staff move the child from one parent to the other. Parents never have contact with one another through our Safe Exchange services.
The Mediation Center offers Safe Exchange services by appointment. Safe Exchanges occur at our Buncombe and Henderson County offices. We also offer Safe Exchange services in Transylvania County at The Children’s Center. We know that coordinating schedules between children and parents can be difficult. We offer FVP services on weekdays during the afternoon and early evening hours. FVP staff will coordinate parent and children’s schedules to find a time that works.
Generally, Safe Exchange serves families with a shared custody agreement, court order, or when a non-custodial parent has unsupervised visitation. Safe exchange offers a low-stress, peaceful alternative to direct interaction between parents.
Benefits of Safe Exchange
- There is no contact between parents. We want to ensure that parents and children are all safe. We aim to avoid any continued conflict or retraumatization.
- Children maintain a relationship with both parents and follow scheduled custody plans.
- Children can experience exchanges without stress or worry.
- Parents do not have to coordinate the logistics of safe exchange. FVP staff coordinates the logistics of safe exchange. Parents communicate directly with FVP instead of the other parent to arrange exchange.
- Parents can avoid involving friends or family members. It can be hard to find someone who both parents agree is a neutral third party. All FVP staff practice neutrality and remain non-judgmental. Our priority is the safety of all family members.
All FAMILY VISITATION PROGRAM services are:
Our detailed FVP procedures prioritize safety. Throughout every visit or exchange, our number one goal is to keep all parties safe. We always take security measures for our clients’ safety. We have a surveillance system and highly-trained staff of visit monitors.
The offices’ layouts prevent parents from having any contact with one another. This prevents ongoing incidents of abuse or mistreatment as well as the negative effects these incidents cause. Our highly-trained staff facilitate positive, healthy interactions between children and parents.
FVP provides services throughout the week. We know that coordinating the schedules of children and parents can be a challenge. We offer services during the afterschool hours on weekdays. We have FVP offices in downtown Hendersonville and downtown Asheville. We also offer services in Transylvania County.
We fill our bright visitation rooms with toys, games, snacks, and art supplies for children of all ages. We encourage custodial guardians to schedule a time before services begin to bring children to our offices. That way, children can familiarize themselves with the environment before their first visit. Our staff is sensitive to your child’s needs and will help to make their experience positive.
FVP staff understand the conflict and stresses associated with these services. Each member of our team will remain non-judgmental, working to understand your perspective. Through communication, we work to meet each family’s unique needs.
If our services sound right for your family or if you have a court order, get in touch. Contact FVP Client Services and Language Access Coordinator Andrea at (828) 251-6089 ext. 418 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or to get started with FVP services.
After you get in touch, we will set up an intake appointment. Intake appointments take about two hours. During that time, we will listen, answer questions, give a tour of the office, and go over how the program works. Each parent or guardian attends separate intake appointments. After both parents have completed the intake process, visits can begin. It can take up to four weeks to complete the intake process and find a time that works for everyone’s schedules. Interested parties should get in touch to make an intake appointment as soon as possible.