The agency will take all reasonable efforts to ensure the safety and welfare of the children and parent(s) during the visitation. The organization has developed safety protocols that take into account court orders of protection, no contact orders, or other stipulations provided by Children and Family Services.
The safety plan will include steps for protecting a child in an emergency, developed in partnership with the family and the age appropriate child when possible.
All participants shall receive a Family Visitation Policies and Guidelines that includes explanation of safety protocols and rules. Additionally, personnel will be equipped and trained to intervene in cases in which the interaction appears to be inappropriate, redirecting and providing guidance.
Additionally, participants in a Family Visitation, MUST sign the Visitation Policy & Guidelines BEFORE the visited is initiated. Failure or refusal to sign Family Visitation Policy & Guidelines shall result in immediate cancellation of visit.
Arrival, Parking and Departure
- Unless otherwise noted, participating biological parent/family may arrive 10 minutes before the visit for the pre-visit meeting with Visitation Monitor. This is required BEFORE the first visit.
- Visit participants must arrive on time. There is a grace period of 15 minutes, after which, the visit is automatically cancelled. Visits cancelled due to tardiness or “no-shows” are not rescheduled.
- No one may accompany the birth parent(s) (or relatives) for a visit without prior approval. No one can remain in the parking lot; wait in front of the building on in the general vicinity during the visit.
- Only individuals pre-authorized to participate in visitation may be allowed in the room.
- If you are going to be late for a visit or need to cancel a visit for any reason, you must telephone Knotts Family Agency at (909) 880-0600 to speak to a KFA staff member.
- KFA personnel will report any unplanned cancellations or no-shows to Children and Family Services and/or DPSS/CPS.
- All necessary forms and releases must be signed before visitation can take place.
- During the visit, staff will prepare observation notes about occurrences during the visit.
- Unless otherwise approved in Family Reunification Plan or by Children and Family Services, a KFA staff member will always be present during the visitation.
- No loitering or confrontation with children, former partners or resource (foster) parents will take place during or after the visitation or in the vicinity.
- Once the visit has ended, children will remain in the care of the visitation monitor after the visit. Visit monitor shall return children to resource parents. Birth parents/relatives shall not participate in taking the children out to the parking lot for “final good byes”.
- There will be no following of, stalking, tracking, trailing or pursuing of the Resource Parents once the visit is over. If it is determined that any birth family members or visitors have engaged in the above behaviors, they will be reported to CPS, DPSS and the proper authorities. This may affect the family reunification or possibly could end in termination of parental rights.
- All adults will be properly clothed at all times. Although this list is not exhaustive, it means no low-cut or revealing clothing, shorts, tank tops, mini-skirts, t-shirts with inappropriate pictures or wording, or any other article of clothing deemed inappropriate by KFA staff. Improperly dressed visitors will not be allowed to visit with their child(ren).
- There will be no consumption of alcohol or drugs on the premises, prior to, during or after the visit. If a staff member detects or suspects the use of alcohol or drugs, the scheduled visit will not take place. Notification will be sent to the Children and Family Services.
- Possession of any weapon, including mace and pepper gas, will terminate the visit. If the visit is terminated due to the possession of any weapon, including mace and/or pepper gas, Children and Family Services will be notified immediately.
- Visiting birth parents (relatives) will not be allowed to carry anything into the visitation room without the approval from the Visitation Monitor. This includes personal items; cell phones, purses, backpacks, etc. These will be collected prior to the visit and returned upon its conclusion.
- Visiting birth parents (relatives) will need prior approval to bring items into the visit room as part of your visitation plan, which may include, but is not limited to, clothing, games, toys, books, pictures/photographs, etc. These items must first be approved by the monitor.
- Presents may be allowed. These gifts must be unwrapped and approved by the Visitation Monitor prior to your visit. All gifts will leave with the child at the end of the visit if approved and age appropriate.
- Any visitations that happen to land on a national holiday will not be made up, unless prior arrangements are made.
- Cameras and video cameras must be approved by the Visitation Monitor. Any and all electronics may be held in storage until after the visitation. This includes but not limited to cell phones, beepers, pagers, tablets and other electronic devices.
- Visiting parents may bring approved healthy food to the visits with them. This includes but is not limited to beverages (juices or non-caffeinated soda) and/or snacks. However, staff are authorized to intervene if food is considered unhealthy (e.g. too much sugar, etc.) and may affect the child’s health and development.
- Parents must clean up and tidy the room as part of the visit. Activities, toys and trash items must be cleaned prior to leaving. Parents must begin to clean up at least 10 minutes prior to end of visit, as to not conflict with other scheduled visits.
- Any harassment, threats, intimidation, assault, attempted assault, reckless endangerment, engagement in conduct which is offensive or disorderly towards an individual, adult or child in the visitation site or in its immediate vicinity will result in immediate termination of the visit. Notification of the proper authorities, police department, the courts and the Department of Social Services will follow immediately thereafter.
- Derogatory remarks about the birth parents (relatives), resource (foster) parent, and/or guardian, will not be tolerated. Questioning or talking about the child(ren)’s biological or resource (foster) family members, school, residence, their friends, court cases, counseling etc., will result in immediate intervention by the Visitation Monitor unless it is part of instructions of visitation on the court order. Any additional inappropriate behavior will be documented and reported to the proper authorities.
- The Visitation Monitor or program staff will be present at all times and will accompany the child to the bathroom if needed.
- Promises and/or talk of future visits will not be allowed, unless part of the reunification plans.
- Foreign language may be spoken only if staff is fluent in that particular language. Parents may identify the languages spoken at home so that appropriate preparations can be made.
- Whispering or low tone talking will not be allowed.
- Physical contact will only be initiated by the child and deemed appropriate by the Visitation Monitor.
- There will be no smoking during the visitation or on the premises at any time.
- Once the visit has started, visitors may not leave the building to return to the parking lot or vehicle. Only restroom breaks permitted.
Interaction between Birth Parents and Resource (Foster) Parents
- Resource (foster) parents/ guardians will bring the children for visitation. It is imperative that the resource (foster) parent/guardian is prompt for arrival and departure. Failure to comply may be reported to Children and Family Services.
- It is imperative that birth parents/relatives are prompt for arrival and departure. Failure to comply will also be reported to Children and Family Services.
- Birth parents (relatives) shall not at any moment negatively engage resource (foster) parent. Such behavior will not be tolerated and is grounds for termination or cancelation of current and future visits.
- As previously stated, there will be no following of, stalking, tracking, trailing or pursuing of the Resource Parents once the visit is over. If it is determined that any birth family members or visitors have engaged in the above behaviors, they will be reported to CPS, DPSS and the proper authorities. This may affect the family reunification or possibly could end in termination of parental rights.