Therapeutic Supervised Visits
Supervised or therapeutic visits typically occur in the context of custody proceedings. When the Court is concerned about the nature of the bond between a particular parent and a child, it may ask the mental health professional to conduct supervised or therapeutic visits and provide a report to the Court.
- Supervised visits entail a professional observing a parent and child interaction for a certain amount of time and reporting to the Court any sign of relevant (appropriate or inappropriate) behavior on the part of a parent that is likely to impact on his/her relationship with the child. In these instances, the evaluator’s report to the Court will be limited to details about what transpired during the course of the supervised visits and comment on the observed quality of the bond between parent and child. Supervised visits are often ordered by the Court when concerns have been raised about the appropriateness of a parent’s interaction with a child, or when there has been a prolonged disruption in the bond between a parent and a child.
- In contrast, in therapeutically supervised visits, the mental health professional is asked to go beyond the role of observer/reporter to the Court and actually intervene to address problematic aspects of the parent-child bond. In this instance the Court appointed professional also generates a report for the Court summarizing his findings.