A Comprehensive Blueprint for a Crucial Service: Florida's New Supervised Visitation Strategy
21 Pages Posted: 24 May 2009
Date Written: May 19, 2009
Supervised visitation is contact between a noncustodial parent and his/her child that is overseen by a trained third party in a controlled environment. Communities throughout the country have increasingly turned to supervised visitation programs as a means of protecting vulnerable family members in complex child custody litigation. Notwithstanding their popularity, however, these programs largely constitute a patchwork of approaches rather than a coherent system. For that reason, Florida’s recent adoption of a comprehensive set of uniform state standards and accompanying measures to implement them represent a major advance in efforts to maximize the benefits of supervised visitation. This article provides an overview of the history, guiding principles, and salient operational details of Florida’s new standards. If successful, Florida’s experiment can serve as a template for other states also seeking to safeguard the welfare of children and other vulnerable members of troubled families.
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