& SAFE EXCHANGE
The YWCA Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange program works collaboratively with local organizations and courts to encourage positive parent-child relationships as well as safe, happy visitations.
Our growing program offers an environment with an abundance of toys, activities, and ice breakers that children can enjoy while enhancing their relationships with those important to them. Families come to our facility with expectations of a safe visitation between parents and their children.
Some children come from families where the need for a mediator is necessary, whether it is for a short or long period of time. We understand that there is not always a “neutral” person involved in cases of child custody due to the immeasurable amount of love from all parties involved. This is where families may benefit from utilizing the YWCA Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Location.
Who Benefits From Our Program?
Court Ordered Mandates: Families who have been mandated by the Courts where one or both parties are required to have a period of supervised visitation are welcomed to our facility. This is an alternative to seeking a mutually agreed upon supervisor within a family or community. Often it is hard to find a truly neutral party.
Foster Care Referrals: To enhance the reunification process between families where Child Protective Services has become involved, supervised visits are ordered to be facilitated by the YWCA Supervised Visitation Center. The purpose of this arrangement is to allow children to have as much contact as possible with their biological families and enhance the parent/child relationship in preparation for reintegration to the home. YWCA Supervised Visitation and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services will communicate regularly to provide feedback on relationship growth, the interaction between parent and child, and successful completion of visitations.
Agency Referrals: Working closely with local agencies and organizations to improve the lives of families is a common goal. Utilizing the YWCA Supervised Visitation Center provides children with the opportunity to visit a parent or grandparent in a safe, supportive environment.
Self-Referrals: If both parties are in agreement with the need for supervised visitations, we welcome those who choose to contact us themselves. Even if the program is only utilized for a short period of time, it may give those parties involved the opportunity to deescalate while still allowing children to continue building relationships with those that mean the most to them.
Safe Exchange: Not all interactions with the YWCA Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Program need to be long-term. With custody arrangements, it is often required that one parent picks up or drops off the children to one another. At the YWCA Supervised Visitation Center, families are able to have the option of a neutral, third-party staff member to facilitate the visitation. The Visitation Center can become the meeting place for pick up/drop off/ or exchanges during visitations while tensions are high.
How Our Program Works:
Interested community members may request a program application, or will be provided one by the courts or referring agency. Both parties must complete an application and return it to the YWCA Supervised Visitation Program. Once both applications are received, the Supervised Visitation Program Director will determine acceptance into the program.
You will be notified via mail regarding the acceptance or refusal of the program. If you are accepted in the programs your mailing will provide instructions to contact the Program Director to schedule an orientation time.
During orientation, you will be informed on the rights, rules, and responsibilities of all parties involved, including YWCA staff. You will also learn that our program functions successfully on specific arrival and departure times. It is imperative if accepted to this program, that you are respectful of this request.
We encourage custodial parents to bring children along to orientation where they can explore and play in our visitation room to increase their comfort level when visitations begin. If parents choose not to bring their children, it is strongly recommended that a separate child orientation is scheduled to make the transition easier for the children.
Visitation rooms are equipped with cameras, microphones, and staff to ensure the safety of children. All visits are documented within 24 hours of completion. YWCA staff aims to keep all documentation confidential but are required to share updates with the Court for those who are mandated and have a court date scheduled. Clients may request that their documentation be shared with attorneys, Child Protective Services, or other agencies once a Release of Information is signed by the requesting client.
In securing visitations at the YWCA Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Center, you can ensure that children are in a neutral, safe place. At no point will bad-mouthing a custodial parent or another party will be allowed. We understand that all people involved have their own “side of the story” but at the YWCA Supervised Visitation Center, the only story we are concerned about is a happy child who can look back and remember a safe, conflict-free experience with their loved ones.
YWCA staff members would be happy to provide families with contact information or referrals to other local programs to which can benefit and support families working to improve their future.
This program is located at: 515 W. 5th Street, Suite 515
Jamestown, NY 14701
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Supervised Visitation & Safe Exchange Director:
515 W. 5th Street, Suite 515
Jamestown, NY 14701