2022 Edition

Supervised Visitation and Exchange Services (CA-SVE) 8: Therapeutic Supervised Visitation

Organizations providing therapeutic supervised visitation engage service recipients in interventions focused on improving the parent-child relationship.
NA The organization does not provide Therapeutic Supervised Visitation.




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.
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
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Service planning and monitoring procedures
  • Procedures for the use of therapeutic interventions
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Therapeutic/educational materials
  • Training curricula that addresses therapeutic interventions
  • Documentation of training and/or certification related to therapeutic interventions
  • Community resource and referral list

  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records


CA-SVE 8.01

Service recipients participate in an individualized, culturally and linguistically responsive assessment that is: 
  1. completed within established timeframes;
  2. updated as needed based on the needs of persons served; and
  3. focused on the issue that led to the referral for service, and information pertinent for meeting service objectives.


The assessment will typically be directed at potential difficulties in and goals for the parent-child relationship, rather than on the individual pathology of either the parent or child. However, organizations may find it necessary to also focus on some of the individual needs and issues of service recipients, insofar as addressing those needs and issues may help to improve the parent-child relationship.


CA-SVE 8.02

An assessment-based service plan is developed in a timely manner with the full participation of service recipients, and includes: 
  1. agreed upon goals, desired outcomes, and timeframes for achieving them;
  2. services and supports to be provided; 
  3. procedures for expedited service planning when crisis or urgent need is identified; and
  4. the service recipient’s signature.


Generally children age six and older should be included in service planning, unless there is clinical justification for not doing so.


CA-SVE 8.03

Service recipients are engaged in therapeutic and educational interventions that are:
  1. designed to support the development of healthier connections between parents and children;
  2. based on research or clinical practice guidelines where they exist; and
  3. matched with the assessed needs, ages, developmental levels, and goals of service recipients.
Examples: In addition to joint parent-child interventions provided during supervised visits, interventions may also be provided during individual sessions with parents or children. In some instances custodial parents may also be engaged in therapeutic or educational interventions, either alone or with the child.


CA-SVE 8.04

Personnel assist service recipients to:
  1. participate actively in services;
  2. explore and clarify the concerns or issues that led to the referral for service;
  3. voice the goals they wish to achieve;
  4. identify successful problem-solving or coping strategies based on strengths, formal and informal supports, and preferred solutions; and
  5. realize ways of maintaining and generalizing gains.
Examples: Personnel can encourage active participation by demonstrating: 
  1. sensitivity to needs and personal goals;
  2. a non-threatening manner;
  3. respect for individuals’ autonomy, socio-cultural values, personal goals, life style choices, and complex family interactions;
  4. sensitivity to trauma history, including any history of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
  5. flexibility; and
  6. appropriate boundaries.

Fundamental Practice

CA-SVE 8.05

The organization:
  1. ensures staff are trained on therapeutic interventions prior to coming in contact with the service population;
  2. monitors the use and effectiveness of therapeutic interventions;
  3. identifies potential risks associated with therapeutic interventions and takes appropriate steps to minimize risk, when necessary; and
  4. discontinues an intervention immediately if it produces adverse side effects or is deemed unacceptable according to prevailing professional standards.


CA-SVE 8.06

When personnel discover issues that are not appropriate to address within the context of therapeutic supervised visitation, families are referred to other independent providers for assessment and treatment.
Examples: Personnel may find it inappropriate to address some issues due to the nature of therapeutic visitation and/or the associated limitations on confidentiality. Issues such as these may arise during assessment and service planning, as well as during the course of service provision. In some instances, for example when serving child protection cases, organizations may deem it appropriate to coordinate care with other service providers rather than simply providing a referral.


CA-SVE 8.07

The worker and a supervisor, or a clinical, service, or peer team, review the case quarterly, or more frequently depending on the risks and needs of persons served, to assess:
  1. service plan implementation;
  2. progress toward achieving service goals and desired outcomes; and
  3. the continuing appropriateness of the agreed upon service goals.


When experienced workers are conducting reviews of their own cases, the worker’s supervisor must review a sample of the worker’s evaluations as per the requirements of the standard.
Note: See also CA-SVE 9.06 for additional case review requirements applicable to all supervised visitation and exchange programs.


CA-SVE 8.08

The worker and service recipient: 
  1. review progress toward achievement of agreed upon service goals; and 
  2. sign revisions to service goals and plans.