The Family Visitation Program offers safe exchange services designed to facilitate positive, safe custodial exchanges between parents. When there is potential for conflict or safety issues during custodial exchanges, safe-exchange services offer a safe alternative. Our safe exchange allows children to transition between parents without the two coming into contact.
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About Safe Exchange
Generally, safe exchange services are utilized in cases when a family has a shared custody agreement, a court order, or a non-custodial parent who has unsupervised visitation with a child. Especially in cases where there is family conflict or a safety concern, safe exchange offers a low-stress, peaceful alternative to direct interaction between parents.
Our primary goal is to ensure the safety of every person who uses our services.
Safe Exchange allows a child to transition between parents for a weekend and/or short unsupervised visits (up to 5 hours) without contact between parents. Parents arrive and depart at the FVP office at different times and use different entrances. Children are not dropped off at the program—staff and volunteers simply move the child from one parent to the other without the parents having contact.
Benefits of Safe Exchange
- Lack of contact between parents ensures that children and adults do not experience negative consequences of conflict or related trauma.
- Children maintain a relationship with both parents and follow scheduled custody plans.
- Children can experience exchanges without stress or worry.
- Parents have no communication with each other while using the service because FVP staff coordinates the logistics of safe exchange. Parents work 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.
Our Safe Exchange Services
The Mediation Center offers safe exchange services at our Buncombe and Henderson County offices. We know that coordinating schedules between children and multiple parents can be difficult so we offer time slots for visitation at select times on both weekdays and weekend days.
Our staff is sensitive to your child’s needs and will help to make their experience positive.
For both supervised visitation and safe exchange services, FVP procedures are designed with safety as the first priority. Throughout the visitation or exchange, our number one goal is to keep all parties safe. We always take security measures for our clients’ safety, including the presence of a surveillance system and highly-trained staff monitors. The physical layout of our offices enables parents to have no contact with one another while using FVP services. This lack of contact prevents ongoing incidents of abuse or mistreatment and the negative effects that such incidents might cause. The Mediation Center’s staff and volunteers are trained to facilitate positive, healthy, and peaceful interactions between children and parents.
If you still have questions about our safe exchange services, you can refer to the Parent Handbooks or get in touch below.
Learn More About Safe Exchange
Clients are referred to safe exchange via the court system and the Department of Social Services. If both parents are in agreement to use safe exchange services, a verbal agreement can also be accepted.
If you might benefit from FVP services or if you have a court order, please email our Client Services Coordinator Jay Wilson or call (828) 251-6089 ext. 101 to learn more about safe exchange services.
After your initial contact, 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. Generally, it takes up to four weeks for both parents to complete the intake process and to find a time that works for everyone’s schedules. Thus, interested parties should get in touch and make an intake appointment as soon as possible.