Welcome/Opening Remarks

Maureen Sheeran, Chief Program Officer, Family Violence and Domestic Relations, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)

Moderated Panel - Using Supervised Visitation Centers: Perspectives from Women of Color

Michele Robinson, Program Manager, Family Violence and Domestic Relations Program, NCJFCJ

In this moderated panel women of color who have used supervised visitation and exchange will share their experience and perspective. The panel will expound on the lives of women who use supervised visitation and safe exchange services and how they achieved safety post-separation.

Veronica Linder
Tiffiny Ratcliff
Arlene Rivera

A-1: When Women Use Violence in Intimate Relationships

This workshop will allow participants to better assess the types of domestic violence women use and experience in intimate partner relationships. The workshop will cover the ways to distinguish among violence used to dominate, violence used to resist domination, and violence that is not connected to significant power imbalances between partners. Presenters will examine the difference between men’s and women’s use of violence in intimate relationships, provide systems advocacy ideas for participants to apply to their community’s response to women’s use of violence, and explore how to help women chart a plan of action to reduce their use of violence and violence against them.

Laura Connelly
Scott Miller

B-1: Intervening for Safety

Intervening with families using supervised visitation and safe exchange services requires a high level of skill and support. When we engage with families using a mindful and thoughtful approach, it is essential that we think through why and how we want to intervene. In this workshop, participants will examine the different reasons for intervening in visits and exchanges and the differences between intervening for safety vs. parenting. Participants will also explore new intervention strategies that use visitation services to support safety for women, children, and men.

Beth McNamara
Jennifer Rose

C-1: Balancing Safety and Accessibility

Given the fact that 1 in 5 Americans have a disability, many of which are hidden, it’s very likely that you will encounter parents and children with disabilities in the visitation and exchange setting. For this reason, it’s essential to design your services in a way that balances accessibility and safety. However, visitation providers struggle to make their services accessible due to lack of awareness, budgetary constraints, and/or not understanding their legal requirements. Those who are working to ensure accessible services often find that doing so can create safety risks. This workshop will provide a basic overview of your responsibilities around accessibility, highlight key considerations for working with people with disabilities, and offer suggestions for balancing accessibility and safety within supervised visitation centers.

Anneliese Brown

A-3: Recognizing and Responding to Stalking

Stalking is a crime that is often misunderstood and missed, yet one that affects millions of individuals each year. Research has shown that there is a strong intersection between stalking and domestic violence and that the combination of physical abuse and stalking indicate a much higher risk for violence and lethality than either behavior alone. In this session we will explore the prevalence and dynamics of stalking, the effect on victims, and the implications for supervised visitation professionals.

Michelle Garcia

B-3: Welcoming LGBTQ Parents and their Children into Supervised Visitation

This presentation will draw on years of experience in education and community organizing with LGBTQ parents and their children. It will address some of the challenges facing LGBTQ parents and their children in light of the current social, cultural, and political context and will offer some practical suggestions for making services more welcoming to LGBTQ families using an anti-oppression framework. The presenter will encourage participants to ask questions, engage in reflection and dialogue, and view this as an opportunity for learning and exchange.

Amarinthia Torres

D-3: Crafting and Revising Policies and Procedures

One of the key ways to reduce risk at your visitation center is to have clearly articulated policies and procedures. Policies and procedures serve a number of purposes, including providing staff with the information they need to make decisions in the moment that are responsive to the unique needs of the families they're working with. Presenters will discuss how to create and revise supervised visitation and safe exchange policies that align with the Guiding Principles and account for the safety of victims and their children. They will provide suggestions for how to begin or to re-think this work in your community and will give an overview of the key areas around which to develop policies. Presenters will also highlight important considerations when drafting or revising policies and procedures, including how to avoid unintended consequences that could result in increased risk for victims, particularly when they are the visiting parent.

Anneliese Brown
Tiffany Martinez

B-4: Fostering Resilience in Children in Immigrant Families

This workshop will examine the strengths and challenges of children growing up in immigrant families who are exposed to domestic violence. It will also highlight the types of resources and supports children need to realize their aspirations.

Lumarie Orozco, MA

D-4: Managing Information Safely & Fairly in a Supervised Visitation Setting

Supervised visitation programs provide a safe and respectful space where children can preserve their relationship with a parent, even though that parent has been violent or abusive within the family. To preserve that safe and respectful space, programs must make careful decisions about what information to collect from family members, how to store the information, and how to disclose or protect the information. This session will help supervised visitation programs, as well as their community partners & allies, to think critically about smart information practices that strengthen the unique role of the visitation supervisor.

Alicia Aiken, J.D.

Closing Plenary - Voices of Mothers and Fathers: Recommendations about Safety and Security Measures for Supervised Visitation and Exchange Centers Serving Families Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence

At the core of the Supervised Visitation Program is the primary goal of promoting adult and child safety in situations where there is domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, child abuse, or stalking. However, communities often face challenges and encounter differing opinions about how to balance providing a safe environment with creating a welcoming, friendly and respectful environment. During this plenary, participants will explore the concepts of safety and security through the lens of mothers and fathers that have participated in supervised visitation and exchange services.

Tiffany Martinez

Final Remarks/Evaluation/Closing

Maureen Sheeran, Chief Program Officer, Family Violence and Domestic Relations, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)



This project is supported by Grant Number 2011-TA-AX-K068 awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women or the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.