Beyond Observation: Considerations for Advancing Domestic Violence Practice in Supervised Visitation
The authors of this paper present considerations for expanded practice in the Supervised Visitation Grant Program and describe interventions that go beyond observation in the supervised visitation setting. The Supervised Visitation Grant Program, established by the Violence Against Women Act of 2000, provides an opportunity for communities to support supervised visitation and exchange by and between parents in situations involving domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. The intended audience includes the staff of visitation centers, clinicians, lawyers, judges, domestic violence advocates, and men?s non-violence programs. Supervised visits and transitions to visits that are stressful or upsetting for children who have been exposed to domestic violence cannot be avoided; however, centers can incorporate practices to mitigate a child's level of distress or help a child to cope more adaptively, the authors say. They also recommend ways to address the needs of mothers who are victims ofdomestic violence, such as recognizing that each mother's experiences and the ways in which they have affected her are different, and to simultaneously address the needs of fathers and hold them accountable if they have perpetrated the violence. The authors discuss three types of interventions: (1) supervised visitation, (2) supportive supervised visitation and (3) therapeutic visitation, each requiring increasing levels of program capacity including skills, training, collaboration with other providers and experience. Modified Author Abstract.