The Supervised Access Program is available to facilitate access between children and their parents, caregivers, or other family members through visits or exchanges. The program offers an accessible, safe, and neutral child-focused environment in which these visits and exchanges can take place.
There are several reasons why the Supervised Access Program may be an appropriate choice for a family. For example, in a high conflict separation, parents may decide (or the Court may order) that a neutral party oversees visits between parents and their children. As well, exchanging children between parents who are separated may also be problematic, and in this case conducting these exchanges through the Supervised Access Program may be preferred to reduce the stress of both the parents and the children. Other instances that may indicate a need for the program can include abduction concerns or risk of violence. In all instances, Children’s Centre Thunder Bay maintains neutrality, which is demonstrated through a fair and balanced approach, ensuring the safe, respectful treatment of all parties. This program refrains from advocating on behalf of any one party.
All visits and exchanges take place at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay. Employees are available to communicate access-related information between the parties, including medication instructions, and health or behavioural concerns. Visits may last up to two hours, during which toys and games are provided, along with use of kitchen facilities and a TV/DVD player.
All visits and exchanges are supervised by specially trained employees of Children’s Centre Thunder Bay who monitor all interactions between participants, and intervene if necessary to ensure the safety of all. Employees also ensure that both parties are following the terms and conditions of the program, which are fully explained during the intake process.
The program typically operates 4 days a week, Thursday to Sunday, though hours will vary. Services are available in both English and French. Program fees are usually shared between both parties and are on a sliding scale, or may be waived.
Self-referrals are accepted, as are third party referrals from lawyers, mental health professionals, or the Court. In all cases, both parties must provide consent.
For more information, or to make a referral for services, please call the the Program Coordinator at 807-343-5031.