Chapter 13. Supervised Visitation And Exchange Services, Education, And Counseling of California Family Law Code >> Division 8. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 13.
The Judicial Council shall develop standards for supervised
visitation providers in accordance with the guidelines set forth in
this section. For the purposes of the development of these standards,
the term "provider" shall include any individual who functions as a
visitation monitor, as well as supervised visitation centers.
Provisions shall be made within the standards to allow for the
diversity of supervised visitation providers.
(a) When developing standards, the Judicial Council shall consider
all of the following issues:
(1) The provider's qualifications, experience, and education.
(2) Safety and security procedures, including ratios of children
(3) Any conflict of interest.
(4) Maintenance and disclosure of records, including
(5) Procedures for screening, delineation of terms and conditions,
and termination of supervised visitation services.
(6) Procedures for emergency or extenuating situations.
(7) Orientation to and guidelines for cases in which there are
allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or
(8) The legal obligations and responsibilities of supervisors.
(b) The Judicial Council shall consult with visitation centers,
mothers' groups, fathers' groups, judges, the State Bar of
California, children's advocacy groups, domestic violence prevention
groups, Family Court Services, and other groups it regards as
necessary in connection with these standards.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the safety of
children, adults, and visitation supervisors be a precondition to
providing visitation services. Once safety is assured, the best
interest of the child is the paramount consideration at all stages
and particularly in deciding the manner in which supervision is
(a) Any standards for supervised visitation providers
adopted by the Judicial Council pursuant to Section 3200 shall
conform to this section. A provider, as described in Section 3200,
shall be a professional provider or nonprofessional provider.
(b) In any case in which the court has determined that there is
domestic violence or child abuse or neglect, as defined in Section
11165.6 of the Penal Code, and the court determines supervision is
necessary, the court shall consider whether to use a professional or
nonprofessional provider based upon the child's best interest.
(c) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions
(1) "Nonprofessional provider" means any person who is not paid
for providing supervised visitation services. Unless otherwise
ordered by the court or stipulated by the parties, the
nonprofessional provider shall:
(A) Have no record of a conviction for child molestation, child
abuse, or other crimes against a person.
(B) Have proof of automobile insurance if transporting the child.
(C) Have no current or past court order in which the provider is
the person being supervised.
(D) Agree to adhere to and enforce the court order regarding
(2) "Professional provider" means any person paid for providing
supervised visitation services, or an independent contractor,
employee, intern, or volunteer operating independently or through a
supervised visitation center or agency. The professional provider
(A) Be at least 21 years of age.
(B) Have no record of a conviction for driving under the influence
(DUI) within the last five years.
(C) Not have been on probation or parole for the last 10 years.
(D) Have no record of a conviction for child molestation, child
abuse, or other crimes against a person.
(E) Have proof of automobile insurance if transporting the child.
(F) Have no civil, criminal, or juvenile restraining orders within
the last 10 years.
(G) Have no current or past court order in which the provider is
the person being supervised.
(H) Be able to speak the language of the party being supervised
and of the child, or the provider must provide a neutral interpreter
over 18 years of age who is able to do so.
(I) Agree to adhere to and enforce the court order regarding
(J) Meet the training requirements set forth in subdivision (d).
(d) (1) Professional providers shall have received 24 hours of
training that includes training in the following subjects:
(A) The role of a professional provider.
(B) Child abuse reporting laws.
(C) Recordkeeping procedures.
(D) Screening, monitoring, and termination of visitation.
(E) Developmental needs of children.
(F) Legal responsibilities and obligations of a provider.
(G) Cultural sensitivity.
(H) Conflicts of interest.
(J) Issues relating to substance abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse,
and domestic violence.
(K) Basic knowledge of family and juvenile law.
(2) Professional providers shall sign a declaration or any
Judicial Council form that they meet the training and qualifications
of a provider.
(e) The ratio of children to a professional provider shall be
(1) The degree of risk factors present in each case.
(2) The nature of supervision required in each case.
(3) The number and ages of the children to be supervised during a
(4) The number of people visiting the child during the visit.
(5) The duration and location of the visit.
(6) The experience of the provider.
(f) Professional providers of supervised visitation shall:
(1) Advise the parties before commencement of supervised
visitation that no confidential privilege exists.
(2) Report suspected child abuse to the appropriate agency, as
provided by law, and inform the parties of the provider's obligation
to make those reports.
(3) Suspend or terminate visitation under subdivision (h).
(g) Professional providers shall:
(1) Prepare a written contract to be signed by the parties before
commencement of the supervised visitation. The contract should inform
each party of the terms and conditions of supervised visitation.
(2) Review custody and visitation orders relevant to the
(3) Keep a record for each case, including, at least, all of the
(A) A written record of each contact and visit.
(B) Who attended the visit.
(C) Any failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the
(D) Any incidence of abuse, as required by law.
(h) (1) Each provider shall make every reasonable effort to
provide a safe visit for the child and the noncustodial party.
(2) If a provider determines that the rules of the visit have been
violated, the child has become acutely distressed, or the safety of
the child or the provider is at risk, the visit may be temporarily
interrupted, rescheduled at a later date, or terminated.
(3) All interruptions or terminations of visits shall be recorded
in the case file.
(4) All providers shall advise both parties of the reasons for the
interruption or termination of a visit.
(i) A professional provider shall state the reasons for temporary
suspension or termination of supervised visitation in writing and
shall provide the written statement to both parties, their attorneys,
the attorney for the child, and the court.
Any supervised visitation maintained or imposed by the court
shall be administered in accordance with Section 26.2 of the
California Standards of Judicial Administration recommended by the
(a) The programs described in this chapter shall be
administered by the family law division of the superior court in the
(b) For purposes of this chapter, "education about protecting
children during family disruption" includes education on parenting
skills and the impact of parental conflict on children, how to put a
parenting agreement into effect, and the responsibility of both
parents to comply with custody and visitation orders.
(a) All supervised visitation and exchange programs funded
pursuant to this chapter shall comply with all requirements of the
Uniform Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation
set forth in Standard 5.20 of the Standards of Judicial
Administration as amended. The family law division of the superior
court may contract with eligible providers of supervised visitation
and exchange services, education, and group counseling to provide
services under this chapter.
(b) As used in this section, "eligible provider" means:
(1) For providers of supervised visitation and exchange services,
a local public agency or nonprofit entity that satisfies the Uniform
Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation.
(2) For providers of group counseling, a professional licensed to
practice psychotherapy in this state, including, but not limited to,
a licensed psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed clinical
social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed
professional clinical counselor; or a mental health intern working
under the direct supervision of a professional licensed to practice
(3) For providers of education, a professional with a bachelor's
or master's degree in human behavior, child development, psychology,
counseling, family-life education, or a related field, having
specific training in issues relating to child and family development,
substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, effective
parenting, and the impact of divorce and interparental conflict on
children; or an intern working under the supervision of that
Subject to the availability of federal funding for the
purposes of this chapter, the family law division of the superior
court in each county may establish and administer a supervised
visitation and exchange program, programs for education about
protecting children during family disruption, and group counseling
programs for parents and children under this chapter. The programs
shall allow parties and children to participate in supervised
visitation between a custodial party and a noncustodial party or
joint custodians, and to participate in the education and group
counseling programs, irrespective of whether the parties are or are
not married to each other or are currently living separately and
apart on a permanent or temporary basis.
(a) The Judicial Council shall annually submit an application
to the federal Administration for Children and Families, pursuant to
Section 669B of the "1996 Federal Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Recovery Act" (PRWORA), for a grant to fund child custody
and visitation programs pursuant to this chapter.
The Judicial Council shall be charged with the administration of
the grant funds.
(b) (1) It is the intention of the Legislature that, effective
October 1, 2000, the grant funds described in subdivision (a) shall
be used to fund the following three types of programs: supervised
visitation and exchange services, education about protecting children
during family disruption, and group counseling for parents and
children, as set forth in this chapter. Contracts shall follow a
standard request for proposal procedure, that may include multiple
year funding. Requests for proposals shall meet all state and federal
requirements for receiving access and visitation grant funds.
(2) The grant funds shall be awarded with the intent of approving
as many requests for proposals as possible while assuring that each
approved proposal would provide beneficial services and satisfy the
overall goals of the program under this chapter. The Judicial Council
shall determine the final number and amount of grants. Requests for
proposals shall be evaluated based on the following criteria:
(A) Availability of services to a broad population of parties.
(B) The ability to expand existing services.
(C) Coordination with other community services.
(D) The hours of service delivery.
(E) The number of counties or regions participating.
(F) Overall cost-effectiveness.
(G) The purpose of the program to promote and encourage healthy
parent and child relationships between noncustodial parents and their
children, while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the
(3) Special consideration for grant funds shall be given to
proposals that coordinate supervised visitation and exchange
services, education, and group counseling with existing court-based
programs and services.
(c) The family law division of the superior court in each county
shall approve sliding scale fees that are based on the ability to pay
for all parties, including low-income families, participating in a
supervised visitation and exchange, education, and group counseling
programs under this chapter.
(d) The Judicial Council shall, on March 1, 2002, and on the first
day of March of each subsequent even-numbered year, report to the
Legislature on the programs funded pursuant to this chapter and
whether and to what extent those programs are achieving the goal of
promoting and encouraging healthy parent and child relationships
between noncustodial or joint custodial parents and their children
while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of children, and the
other goals described in this chapter.