The Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Guiding Principles) is designed to guide the development and administration of Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) centers with an eye toward addressing the needs of child(ren) and adult victims of domestic violence in visitation and exchange settings. The Guiding Principles embody the statutory requirements and objectives of the Supervised Visitation Program.

Each of the six guiding principles (overarching philosophy and perspective) is accompanied by standards (expectations based on the guiding principle) and practices (concrete activities based on the principle and standard). The goal of developing the Guiding Principles is to help guide best practice in the provision of safe visitation and exchange services and in the overall community response to child(ren) and adult victims of domestic violence.

The standards and practices are considered to be good practice when addressing the needs of victims of domestic violence. However, centers funded under the Supervised Visitation Program can and are encouraged to go beyond the practice outlined within the Guiding Principles.

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Principle I of the Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) states that visitation centers should consider as their highest priority the safety of child(ren) and adult victims and should treat both with equal regard.

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Principle II of the Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) states that visitation centers should be responsive to the background, circumstances, and cultures of their community and the families they serve.

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Principle III of the Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) states that visitation centers should demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the nature, dynamics, and impact of domestic violence and incorporate that understanding into their services.

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Principle IV of the Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) states that visitation centers should treat every individual using their services with respect and fairness, while taking into account the abuse that has occurred within the family.

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Principle V of the Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) states that visitation centers should seek to operate within a community collaborative which has as its goal to centralize safety of child(ren) and adult victims and hold batterers accountable. The community collaborative will strive (1) to ensure a holistic response to each family member’s needs; (2) to stop continued abuse of child(ren) and adult victims; and (3) to eliminate the social conditions that cause intimate partner violence.

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Principle VI of the Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) states that visitation centers should work with the community collaborative to ensure that child(ren) and adult victims have meaningful access to services and should actively link individuals to those services.

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