EXPECTATIONS & rules
ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
The Supervised contact and/or Changeover will not be facilitated by Peace of Mind if it appears that the visiting parent is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the commencement of contact such that the visiting parent would not likely to be able to:
Care for the child during contact
Appropriately relate to the child during visit time
Follow the reasonable directions of the supervisor/s
Peace of Mind will also respond to where a parent who the child lives with, returns to pick the child up and is assessed as being under the influence of substances.
ACTIVITIES DURING VISITS
Activities during visits should be consistent with the nature and degree of supervision which is required in the particular case. Peace of Mind requests for non-standard activities to be negotiated in advance with the visiting parent and agreement is to be placed in written or email communication to Peace of Mind.
Any activity which places a supervised child or Peace of Mind staff in direct reasonably foreseeable danger, or breach of duty of care will not be permitted.
Peace of Mind’s toileting arrangements for children will be discussed with all parties using the service. Where allegations of paedophilia have been raised, Peace of Mind staff will assist with supervision of children’s toileting needs, the parent will not be left alone with the child.
However, Peace of Mind aim to balance the desirability of tailoring interventions to the needs of the particular family. The responsibility to maintain a safe and secure environment for all using the service must be central to whatever approach is adopted for toileting arrangements – this means that supervision of any parent involvement with toileting must always be undertaken.
CONVERSATIONS WITH THE CHILD
Peace of Mind aims to be careful during intake to determine whether there are topics of particular sensitivity which should not be raised with the child during supervised contact visits. For example:
Discussion of future plans when plans may be dependent on the outcome of court proceedings.
That each of the parents undertake to refrain from making derogatory comments about the other parent to the child.
All CCS staff are trained and equipped to intervene effectively should a parent start making derogatory comments about the other parent in front of the child or if there are other conversations that are inappropriate.
It is not the role of Peace of Mind to “interrogate” a child, nor is it the role of the other parent and therefore supervised contact may be immediately stopped for that particular session. Consultation with both parents may be undertaken by Peace of Mind as well as notes completed within files.
MEDICATION AND DIET
Primary responsibility for the care of the child and the child's dietary and/or medical needs, subject to any contrary order rests with the parents rather than the service. Arrangements in relation to medication and diet requirements, where possible, need to be discussed prior to service commencing, subject to any contrary order rests with the parents rather than the service.
Clear information on these requirements needs to be established to provide responsible care for the child, help to develop consistency in parenting approaches with regard to dietary and/or medical needs and to reduce the degree of parental conflict.
All requirements will be documented, brought to the attention of both parents, additionally all Peace of Mind staff and file notes/observational notes will be kept in regard to these matters.
There will be a periodic review of all cases in order to assess the efficacy of the service being provided in each case, to review the appropriateness of the service continuing in each case and as a part of the ongoing overall evaluation of the service.
This will be canvassed with parents during the intake process. Copies of court orders/agreements including or excluding others from the proposed supervised contact arrangements are to be copied and a copy given to Peace of Mind. Peace of Mind is to provide due consideration to these directions/preferences but is not obligated to abide by them. The decision as to include or exclude any other person is to be determined as a part of the assessment process and based upon the child’s interests. Anyone else attending a visit or participating in a changeover is required to undertake the same intake process that the parents have completed.
Peace of Minds aim is also to ensure that its capacity to provide a safe and secure service is not compromised by additional people being involved in the visiting arrangements.
FEEDBACK TO THE PARENTS
The service will focus upon promoting the child's welfare at all times, but especially when changeovers and/or supervised visits are being facilitated. The methods of doing so will include:
monitoring the changeover and/or visit through attentive supervision
guiding a parent and modelling behaviours that promote positive adult/child interactions
Guiding or providing directions to a parent in order to resolve any problem which arises during supervision or changeover
where it is necessary, termination or suspension of the visit/use of service
If requested, and in any event if appropriate, the Contact supervisor may provide factual feedback about the supervised visit to a parent. This information will be always in relation to the child and no mention the other parent. All requests will be documented in file notes/observational notes and will be kept in regard to these matters.
The supervisor will assert to both parents that the information provided is to support an understanding of what the child is/has experienced and is not designed to be used in furthering the dispute that exists between the parents. The focus, in every instance, is on equipping the parents to provide the best possible support to their child.
Feedback may also be provided to parents during the course of periodic service reviews and used as a part of the process of moving toward, where it is appropriate for this to occur, independent management of arrangements.
SUSPENDING OR CEASING SERVICE PROVISION
Peace of Mind will decide to suspend or cease providing service where one or more of the following prevail:
1. The way visits are proceeding is, in the view of the service, too stressful or traumatic for the child
2. The service determines that it cannot effectively address the safety requirements or other issues involved in the particular case
3. The case is placing an undue demand on the services resources
4. One or both of the parties have failed to comply with the rules of the service
The decision to suspend or cease providing service may be recommended by the Executive and/or coordinator and then further assessed by the organisation’s upper line management.
Where suspension or cessation of the service is being considered, it will generally be appropriate for Peace of Mind to consult with both parents separately about the issues. Once a decision has been made both parties will be advised and the reason/s for suspension or termination will be confirmed in writing.
Legal representatives will also be advised. Information regarding organisational right of appeal procedures is to be provided to both parents as a part of the intake interview and again, in the event of suspension or cessation of service being invoked.