2022 Edition

Supervised Visitation and Exchange Services (CA-SVE) 6: Off-Site Supervision

Organizations that provide supervision at community locations implement protocols to manage challenges and maintain safety off-site.


Because off-site supervision is provided at unsecured locations, organizations have less control over both the environment and ensuing events. Accordingly, organizations that decide to offer the service should develop enhanced protocols specific to maintaining safety and security off-site.
NA The organization does not provide off-site supervision.




Supervised Visitation and Exchange Services enable children to maintain connections with parents with whom they are not living by protecting the physical and emotional safety of the children and their families.
Examples: Challenges that will be difficult to manage during off-site supervision may include, but are not limited to: detecting concealed weapons, hearing and seeing everything going on, warding off intervening persons, preventing child abductions, and getting help quickly in case of emergency.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for selecting sites
  • Procedures for supervising off-site visits and/or exchanges
  • Screening procedures
  • Current insurance policies, with descriptions, amounts, and dates of coverage
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

CA-SVE 6.01

The off-site program has been developed with the specific goal of keeping children and families safe given the unique security issues associated with off-site supervision, and services are provided only when:
  1. specifically approved by the court or referring agency; and
  2. the organization determines that the level of risk presented by the family is an appropriate match for the level of safety and security provided during off-site supervision.

Fundamental Practice

CA-SVE 6.02

To promote safety and preparedness, sites are selected in advance of the visit or exchange, and specified in the case record.
Examples: Some organizations may have a list of pre-approved off-site locations that personnel and families may choose from, and not permit visits or exchanges in other locations.

Fundamental Practice

CA-SVE 6.03

In evaluating sites for off-site supervision, the organization considers:
  1. environmental characteristics of the site that can impact safety or increase the risk for abduction, including lighting, location of entrances and exits, public access to the site, open spaces, crowding, and the type and configuration of bathroom facilities;
  2. proximity to a police station;
  3. the extent to which the site will be free of safety hazards for children;
  4. the extent to which contact between visiting parents and custodial parents or caregivers can be minimized, in cases where there is conflict between the parties; and
  5. the availability of bathrooms.

Fundamental Practice

CA-SVE 6.04

Written procedures guide the organization’s practice and address issues specific to off-site supervision to promote safety, including:
  1. planning in advance for the specifics of the visit or exchange;
  2. protocols for bathroom use that are specifically designed to lessen the risk of abduction;
  3. seating arrangements, including procedures to encourage parent/child bonding in reunification cases, or to seat parents and children separately in cases where abduction is a concern;
  4. dealing with intervening persons;
  5. accessing emergency assistance, including bringing a phone, identification, money, and copy of the court order to the visit or exchange, in case of emergency; and
  6. minimizing adverse events while transporting service recipients, when applicable.


Given that complications surrounding the logistics of bathroom use can present an opportunity for child abduction, it is especially important to develop procedures designed to minimize this risk. Organizations should: (1) encourage personnel to minimize their fluid intake prior to visits in order to decrease the chance that they will need to use the bathroom during the visit; (2) prohibit the visiting parent from accompanying a child to the bathroom; and (3) consider the age and gender of children, along with the type of bathroom facility available at the site, when assigning personnel to supervise visits or exchanges (i.e. in order to avoid a situation where the visiting parent might need to accompany the child to the bathroom).

Fundamental Practice

CA-SVE 6.05

The organization’s liability insurance specifically includes coverage for off-site supervision.