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Concerning supervised parenting time and supervised contact:

Parenting time and contact that is supervised or court-ordered can often be stressful and uncomfortable for any of the parties involved. Bridges Family Services aims to make these experiences as smooth and comfortable as possible for all. The Supervisor is trained and practiced in assisting children and youth through this process, and effectively communicating with both parties to ensure the most amicable experience that is possible. There are some helpful tips each party is encouraged to be mindful of in order to facilitate the success of such visits:

 

  • The Bridges Family Services Professional Supervisor may not provide legal direction, advice, counselling, nor conduct mediation services. This role is strictly limited to that of a third party, neutral observer present primarily for the safety and well-being of the children and youth. Secondarily the Supervisor assists with communicating arrangements between the parties where there are obstacles to this process. Lastly, the Supervisor is responsible for effective observation and recording of visits or parenting time and providing reports to both parties in a timely manner.
     

  • Familiarize yourself with the Bridges Family Services Agreement prior to the time of visitation in order to minimize unforeseen incidents or inappropriate conversation during these times.
     

  • Seek and obtain legal advice concerning matters outside of the visitation arrangements, as required and appropriate. As visitations proceed, direct inquiries about the process of visitation supervision to the Bridges Supervisor, and inquiries or concerns about legal arrangements to respective lawyers.
     

  • Consider enlisting the supportive ear of a friend specifically for debriefing or discussing stresses you experience related to arrangements for supervision and with your children or ex-spouse. Keeping in mind that typically, having a support person is beneficial and helps to keep the roles and communication clear within the supervised visits.
     

  • Both parties do not attend the visits, or parenting time, nor transitions at the same time, unless court ordered or it is in the best interests of the children - as is the case with some very young children or babies.
     

  • Maintain your own notes of significant moments during visits for future records, or to discuss discrepancies with the Supervisor or your legal representation.
     

  • During visitation or parenting time, focus on communication and interaction with your child or children during such visits or parenting time, rather than engaging in such with the supervisor. Distraction for the supervisor can negatively impact the accuracy and details in recorded notes, and can also undermine the process of building the parent/child relationship.
     

  • Try to relax and enjoy the time as much as possible. The Supervisor is not present to judge nor interfere, but to maintain a supportive demeanor and to assist all parties in having a successful experience.

Some Helpful Tips to Consider

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