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Question: There is a policy about Parent-Child Visitation, and there is some guidance in the Procedure Manual about Parent-Child Visitation. Will there be any planned, additional guidance, or assessment tools around visitation and who is a safe person to provide supervision for visitation? If so, where will that be outlined in the Procedure Manual?
Chapter 4 of the Procedure Manual, Section 26 (scheduled for release in early July), further describes procedures for parent-child visits, along with special visitation considerations around supervision of visits. The Manual does not, however, have specific procedures for determining who would be a safe person to provide supervision. The chapter does not provide an assessment tool for the caseworker in making the determination.
If a caseworker is unsure whether a specific person would be appropriate to supervise a visit and have the ability to protect the child's emotional and physical safety, the worker should consult with the supervisor prior to implementing the visitation plan.
Question: Will Central Office be providing the field with a standard form for persons other than DHS employees to fill out when they supervise visits on behalf of/in place of DHS staff to meet the documentation requirements?
No. There is not a required form for persons other than DHS to document supervised visits. This was done on purpose, so that if they did not have the proper “form,” they could still supervise. The branch can give them a form if it is easier, but they can do it on plain paper or email, as well. The documentation must include the items outlined in the rule: (see below)
- When Department staff supervises a visit, documentation of the visit must be included in the case file and must document:
- The location of the visit, who attended, and the length of the visit;
- Activities that occurred during the supervised visit;
- The impact of the visit on the child or young adult;
- Any missed visit and the reasons for the missed visit; and
- Any interrupted or terminated visits and reasons for the interruption or termination.
Question: When visits are supervised by non DHS staff, are they really going to have to keep notes as outlined in the visitation rule?