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Survey

of
Judicial Practices
regarding Florida’’s
Supervised Visitation Programs

Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D.
Linda Vinton, Ph.D.
Karen Oehme, J.D.

Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation
Institute for Family Violence Studies
Florida State University
C-3405 University Center
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570
850-644-6303
Survey
of
Judicial Practices

regarding Florida’’s
Supervised Visitation Programs

Conducted by the
Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation
Institute for Family Violence Studies
Florida State University

for the
Task Force for Children’’s Justice
Florida Department of Children & Families
October 2003
Table of Contents

Table of Contents 2
Executive Summary 3
Background 6
The Survey 8
Results 9
Description of Respondents 9
Training 12
Formal Agreements & Follow Up 14
Visits to Supervised Visitation Programs 16
Familiarity with Policies and Procedures 17
Utilization of Supervised Visitation Programs 19
Point of Referral During Dissolution Cases 20
Duration of Orders 21
Case Information 22
Security Measures at Programs 23
Alternatives to Using Supervised Visitation 25
Respondents’’ Impressions of Current Supervised 26
Visitation Issues and Practices
Recommendations 28
Appendix A: Task Force for Children’’s Justice 33
Appendix B: Florida’’s Supervised Visitation Programs 37
Appendix C: Survey on Judicial Practices 44

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Executive Summary

During the last decade, there has been rapid growth in the
number and use of supervised visitation programs in Florida.
Whereas there were fewer than 10 such programs in the mid-1990s,
there are now 42 supervised visitation programs that supervised
more than 40,000 visits in 2002 between a noncustodial parent and
one or more children. Due to increasing reliance on supervised
visitation programs, the Task Force for Children’’s Justice asked for
data on the practices of Florida’’s judges in terms of their utilization of
the programs. This report gives the results of a survey of judicial
practices concerning supervised visitation programs throughout the
state.

The 339 judges that heard matters during early 2003 related to
dissolutions/modifications, domestic violence, dependency, child
support and delinquency were selected for the sample. A survey
was developed by an attorney and professors specializing in family
and domestic violence issues. The draft instrument was reviewed by
three judges who provided feedback to the survey developers. The
Clearinghouse appreciates the efforts of Circuit Court Judges Karen
Cole, David Dugan and George Reynolds for their assistance in
reviewing drafts of the survey and providing feedback.

The survey and two reminders were mailed over the course of
the summer and by August, 2003, 82 judges had responded to the
survey. The majority of respondents (51 of 82) were Circuit Judges;
16 were General Masters; 9 were County Judges; and 6 were
Hearing Officers. They represented all of Florida’’s judicial circuits.

The respondents had served on the bench for a mean of 8.7
years and averaged 27 hours of training on domestic violence issues
and 22 hours on the dynamics of divorce. In contrast, they averaged
3 hours of training on supervised visitation. The majority of
respondents had received training on only two of the 18 topics
listed——signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse and family

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dynamics in child sexual abuse, but the majority indicated they
wanted more training on all topics. A large percentage (88%) of the
respondents indicated that they wanted more training on research on
the incidence of child victimization at supervised visitation programs,
family and systems responses to juvenile sexual offenders, and
research on the characteristics and prevalence of juvenile sex
offenders.

Two-thirds of the respondents did not know whether there was
an agreement between their judicial circuit or Chief Judge and their
community’’s supervised visitation program(s); however, 20%
indicated there was an agreement and 13% said there was none.
Among those judges that were aware of the formal mechanisms for
follow up of cases referred to supervised visitation programs, 29%
said there were no follow-up mechanisms and the others reported
various methods. Almost half (48%) of the respondents had visited a
supervised visitation program.

Approximately 60 of the 82 respondents answered questions
about supervised visitation orders. They were most likely to routinely
order supervised visitation (67%) as part of parties’’ mediation
agreements and subsequent orders by the court and as part of the
Department of Children and Families’’ case or safety plan (56%).
They were least likely to order supervised visitation after perpetrators
served a period of incarceration (73% said they had never ordered
visitation under these circumstances) and during a DCF investigation
(66% never). A slight majority of respondents (51-58%) had referred
to supervised visitation programs in alleged or present dependency
cases in cases of excessive corporate punishment and child neglect.
A majority of the respondents had made referrals to supervised
visitation programs in most all types of dissolution cases. There was
no pattern in terms of the duration of orders or what type of case
information was shared with the programs.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of the respondents answered
questions about the security measures at their supervised visitation
programs, and among this group, more than half did not know what
measures were in place. The respondents were asked their opinion,
however, in terms of what security measures should be provided.
Only in two cases was there majority agreement that a measure

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should be provided--visits should be recorded on video in child
sexual abuse cases (50%) and video cameras should be used inside
the building in dependency cases (50%).

When the respondents did not believe supervised visitation
was available, they were most likely to order supervision by a relative
or friend, followed by exchange at a police station or pubic place.
Other possibilities that were mentioned were visits at state offices,
using the Guardian Ad Litem program, and paying individuals on a
private basis.

The respondents were asked about their impressions of current
supervised visitation issues and practices. There was the strongest
consensus in terms of believing that on-site law enforcement was
needed for domestic violence cases, that supervised visitation staff
should not be asked to make recommendations regarding custody,
that programs should be able to decline cases due to lack of training
or security, that child sexual abuse victims should be allowed to
terminate contact if they experience discomfort, and that if a program
terminates a case for non-compliance, judges should not order
unsupervised visitation. Lack of consensus was seen for those items
that concerned who was qualified to supervise visits at programs.

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Background

According to Florida Statutes Chapter 753, ““a "supervised
visitation program" exists where there is contact between a
noncustodial parent and one or more children in the presence of a
third person responsible for observing and ensuring the safety of
those involved. Supervised visitation programs may also include
exchange monitoring of children who are participating in court-
ordered visitation programs or exchange monitoring where there has
been mutual consent between parties for the purposes of facilitating
a visitation.””

The number of supervised visitation programs in Florida has
grown dramatically since 1996 when the above statutory language
was adopted. While there were fewer than 10 programs in the early
1990s, today there are 42 programs across the state. The number of
supervised visits by non-residential parents with their children grew
from several thousand to more than 40,000 in 2002. Every judicial
circuit in Florida is now home to at least one supervised visitation
program (Appendix A) and every supervised visitation case is
referred by court order. Minimum standards for supervised visitation
program agreements were promulgated in 2001 by the Florida
Supreme Court’’s Family Court Steering Committee and can be found
at: http://www.flcourts.org/osca/divisions/family/bin/svnstandard.pdf

Due to the rapid growth in the supervised visitation programs,
the Task Force for Children’’s Justice became interested in collecting
data on the practices of Florida’’s judges in terms of their utilization of
the programs. This report is the result of a survey that was
developed by the Institute for Family Violence Studies at Florida
State University for the Florida Department of Children & Families in
response to the Task Force’’s recommendation.

Florida has maintained a multidisciplinary Task Force on
Children’’s Justice as required by the federal Children’’s Justice Act

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Grant since 1997 (see Appendix A). The Task Force is comprised of
professionals with knowledge of and experience within the criminal
justice system and the child protection system. Their areas of
expertise include child physical abuse, child neglect, child sexual
abuse and exploitation and child maltreatment related to fatalities.
Members represent most major geographic areas of Florida as well
as both private providers and government entities.

The Task Force’’s support of supervised visitation issues began
in 2001, when it funded the development of a training manual and
training institute for supervised visitation staff statewide. The Task
Force turned its attention to the judicial referral process in 2002, after
reviewing Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation data collected
from programs statewide. Interested in determining how judges can
best utilize the resources of supervised visitation to protect at-risk
children, the Task Force funded the survey of judicial practices
described herein.

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The Survey

The Survey on Judicial Practice in Utilization of Supervised
Visitation Programs was drafted by the staff of the Institute for Family
Violence Studies at Florida State University. Face validity was
established by a panel of experts that included three judges, an
attorney, and two professors with expertise in family issues and
domestic violence.

The first mailing of the survey was done on May 30, 2003. A
cover letter from the Chair of the Task Force for Children’’s Justice
was included that explained the purpose of the survey. The Office of
the State Courts Administrator provided the names of judges who
heard matters related to dissolutions/modifications, domestic
violence, dependency, child support and delinquency, and were
listed in the 2003 Judicial Assignments Worksheets Annual Reports.
These judges composed the sample (N=339) for the survey.

Reminder cards were sent to the judges on June 21, 2003, and
a facsimile reminder was sent on July 8, 2003. Surveys were
analyzed that had been received by August 8, 2003.

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Results

Description of Respondents

Of the 339 surveys that were mailed, 82 were returned. The
respondents were primarily Circuit Judges (n=51); 16 were General
Masters; 9 County Judges; and 6 were Hearing Officers (Table 1).

Table 1. Respondents’’ Position (N=82)

60 51
50
40
30
20 16
9
10 6

0
Number
Circuit Judge General Master County Judge Hearing Officer

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All of Florida’’s 20 judicial circuits were represented by the 78
respondents that indicated the circuit in which they heard cases
(Table 2).

Table 2. Number of Responses by Judicial Circuit

Judicial Circuit Number of Responses
1 5
2 2
3 2
4 5
5 5
6 1
7 4
8 2
9 3
10 5
11 7
12 1
13 3
14 1
15 4
16 2
17 10
18 9
19 2
20 5

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The respondent judges had served on the bench, on average,
8.7 years (Range=<1-31 years; S.D.=7.35 years) (Table 3). Slightly
more than half had been admitted to the Bar in the 1980s or 1990s
(Table 4).

Table 3. Respondents’’ Years on the Bench

40 38
35
30
25 23 22 Less than 5
20 17 5 to 9
15 10 to 14
10 15 or more
5
0
Percent

Table 4: Respondents’’ Year Admitted to the Bar

50 45
39
40

30 1962-1969
1970-1979
20 1980-1989
10 8 8 1990-1994

0
Percent

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Training

The respondents had the highest number of mean hours of
training about domestic violence (27) and the dynamics of divorce
(22) (Table 5). The majority of respondents indicated that they
wanted additional training on numerous topics (Table 6).

Table 5. Respondents’’ Average Hours of Training

30 27
25 22
20

15

10
6 5 4 3
5

0
Average No. of Hours

domestic violence child sexual abuse child maltreatment
dynamics of divorce child development supervised visitation

12
Table 6. Topics Covered in Respondents’’ Training

Covered Want more
Topic % training
checked % checked
Signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse 59 53
Family dynamics in child sexual abuse 60 60
Characteristics & responses of non-offending 40 70
parents in child sexual abuse cases
Research findings on incest perpetrators 30 75
Impact of disclosure on child, the non-offending 33 75
parent and offending parent
The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation 29 76
Syndrome
Triggering events for child experiencing child 35 75
sexual abuse
Therapeutic goals for child sexual abuse 41 63
perpetrators
Therapeutic goals for sexually abused children 42 67
Therapeutic gals for the non-offending parent in 36 66
child sexual abuse cases
Myths about child sexual abuse 43 67
Progression pattern in intrafamilial child sexual 30 77
abuse
Characteristics & prevalence research on juvenile 24 83
sexual offenders
Family & systems responses to juvenile sexual 24 86
offenders
Community resources appropriate for child sexual 35 67
abuse cases
Identification of child sexual abuse resources and 38 64
reports
Research on the incidence of child victimization 15 88
at supervised visitation programs
Co-occurrence of child sexual abuse and 41 75
domestic violence
Other topics listed:
Detecting credibility and fabrication
Extensive polydrug use
Parental alienation

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Formal Agreements and Follow Up

Almost three-fourths (73%) of the respondents were not certain
about or could not answer whether there was a formal agreement
between the Chief Judge and the supervised visitation program(s) in
their circuits (Table 7).

Table 7. Formal Agreements with Supervised Visitation Program

80 73

70

60

50

40

30
16
20 11
10

0
Percent

Have agreement No agreement Uncertain or missing

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There was no clear pattern in terms of formal mechanisms to
follow up on cases referred to local supervised visitation programs.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) indicated there were no agreements and
one-fourth (25%) said follow up was done if the parties filed motions.
Other mechanisms were used less frequently (Table 8).

Table 8. Formal Mechanisms to Follow Up on Cases Referred
(N=63)

30 29

25
25
21
19
20

15
10
10

5

0
Percent

bi-/monthly reports none final report if motions sua sponte

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Visits to Supervised Visitation Programs

The majority of respondents (52%) had not visited their
supervised visitation programs. Another 18% had visited within the
past year; 16% one to two years ago; and 14% had visited two or
more years ago (Table 9).

Table 9. When Respondent Visited Supervised Visitation Program
(N=65)

60
52
50

40

30

20 16
14
12
10 6

0
Percent

never last 6 mos 6-12 mos 1-2 yrs ago 2+ yrs ago

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Familiarity with Policies and Procedures

Respondents were asked about their reaction to the Supreme
Court of Florida’’s Minimum Standards for Supervised Visitation
Program Agreements. More than two-thirds (68%) were not familiar
with the standards (note that 18 individuals also did not respond to
the question so it is likely this proportion was higher); 13% said they
thought the standards should be recommended and not mandated;
13% said that DCF or OSCA should assume responsibility for
ensuring the guidelines are met; and 6% gave other answers (Table
10).

Table 10. Reaction to Supreme Court’’s Minimum Standards for
Supervised Visitation Program Agreements (N=64)

80 68

60

40

20 13 13
6
0
Percent

none; not familiar with

should not be mandated; just recommended

either OSCA or DCF should assume responsibility for ensuring
guidelines are met
other

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Slightly more than one-third of the respondents (36%) had not
read and 15% were unsure if they had read their supervised
visitation programs’’ policies and procedures. Slightly less than a
majority (49%) had read the policies and procedures within the past
year or two (Table 11). Note again that 23 persons did not answer
this question and it is therefore likely that the number of respondents
that had not read program policies and procedures was higher.

Table 11. Familiarity with Program’’s Policies and Procedures (N=59)

40 36
35
30 27

25 22

20 15
15
10
5
0
Percent

past yr yr or 2 ago never not sure

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Utilization of Programs

The respondents were asked how often they ordered
supervised visitation for the following types of cases:

Table 12. Frequency of Supervised Visitation Orders (N=60)

Child Sexual Abuse Cases Routinely Sometimes Rarely Never
% % % %
During initial DCF investigation 5 10 19 66
Following exam by Child Protection Team 9 18 22 51
After DCF filed charges 11 11 20 58
After DCF or law enforcement investiga- 11 6 24 59
tion indicated allegation was founded
When perpetrator acknowledged or pled 11 4 30 55
guilty to sexual abuse
After perpetrator received court-ordered 10 14 29 47
treatment
After perpetrator served a period of 4 10 13 73
incarceration
When child’’s mental health therapist 27 25 15 33
recommended contract
Domestic Violence Cases Routinely Sometimes Rarely Never
% % % %
When temporary injunction is ordered 27 20 15 38
When permanent injunction is ordered 33 52 7 8
While batterer is attending court-ordered 39 46 8 7
Batterers’’ Intervention Program
When batterer has completed court- 40 39 11 10
ordered Batterers’’ Intervention Program
Other Types of Dependency Routinely Sometimes Rarely Never
Allegations or Findings % % % %
At shelter hearing 36 36 14 14
At arraignment of offending parent 41 27 15 17
As part of DCF’’s case or safety plan 56 26 7 11
At trial if there is a finding that the child is 43 30 9 18
dependent
As part of parties’’ mediation agreement 67 21 11
and the subsequent order by the court
Following a Termination of Parental 17 15 14 54
Rights Hearing to allow parent(s) final
opportunity to say goodbye

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They were also asked if they had ordered supervised visitation
for the following types of alleged or founded dependency and
dissolution cases:

Table 13. Referrals to Supervised Visitation Programs (N=56)

Dependency Dissolution Cases
Cases
Alleged Present Alleged Present
% Yes % Yes % Yes % Yes
Child sexual abuse 54 29 71 39
Parental drug abuse 52 46 63 57
Parental alcohol abuse 49 49 60 56
Concern regarding parental 31 28 69 54
kidnapping
Parental alienation 40 41 52 64
Parental mental illness 40 45 57 70
Domestic violence 47 49 55 67
Child maltreatment (physical abuse) 48 45 63 59
Excessive corporal punishment 51 56 51 60
Child maltreatment (neglect) 58 52 52 61
Long-term parental absence 35 50 50 60

Table 14. Point During Dissolution Cases When Supervised
Visitation Was Ordered (N=44)

94 94
94
93
92
91
90
89 88
88
87
86
85
Percent [multiple answers allowed]

hearings for temporary relief
final hearings
part of mediation agreement
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Duration of Orders

There was no pattern seen for the duration of the visitation
period. Table 15 shows that 85% of the respondents said the
duration either was not limited or gave varied responses. Only 5%
used a set period (6 months).

Table 15. Duration of Supervised Visitation Order (N=63)

45
45 40
40
35
30
25
20
15
10 5
5
0
Percent

no time limit 6 months varies/other

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Case Information

Respondents were asked what type of background information
they thought should be released to supervised visitation programs
prior to the program’’s monitoring the case. Table 16 shows that
there was no clear consensus among the respondents as to what
types of information should be shared.

Table 16. Case Information Shared with Supervised Visitation
Programs (N=64)

50 45 48

40 38

30 27 28
23 22
20 16

10

0
Percent [multiple answers allowed]
court order only
DCF file, summary, speak to caseworker
law enforcement reports
criminal background check
medical/mental health records
court records
Injunction for Protection
should conduct risk assessment

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Table 17. Security Measures at Supervised Visitation Programs by
Type of Case (N=53)

I don’’t know I believe all
My program if my programs
Domestic Violence Cases currently program should
provides provides provide
% checked % checked % checked
Law enforcement present for all visits 30 55 29
Staff observing visits required to have 32 53 42
documented training in child sexual abuse
Metal detectors in use 30 51 34
Video cameras used inside building 30 51 34
Video cameras used outside building 20 61 45
All visits recorded on video 13 62 42
Only paid staff (not volunteers) monitor 27 66 27
cases
One monitor per family 21 64 40
No gifts or other items brought to visits 11 80 14
Visiting parent not permitted to take 28 60 34
child(ren) to restroom
Visiting parent not allowed to whisper to 31 56 39
child
Alcohol screening done prior to visit 26 51 45
I don’’t know I believe all
My program if my programs
Child Sexual Abuse Cases currently program should
provides provides provide
% checked % checked % checked
Law enforcement present for all visits 30 54 32
Staff observing visits required to have 24 58 51
documented training in child sexual abuse
Metal detectors in use 27 59 34
Video cameras used inside building 31 50 50
Video cameras used outside building 21 62 44
All visits recorded on video 15 59 50
Only paid staff (not volunteers) monitor 23 66 34
cases
One monitor per family 16 65 44
No gifts or other items brought to visits 7 70 30
Visiting parent not permitted to take 29 57 41
child(ren) to restroom
Visiting parent not allowed to whisper to 28 56 44
child
Alcohol screening done prior to visit 17 63 46

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I don’’t know I believe all
My program if my programs
Other Family Law Cases currently program should
provides provides provide
% checked % checked % checked
Law enforcement present for all visits 29 55 31
Staff observing visits required to have 30 55 36
documented training in child sexual abuse
Metal detectors in use 34 50 32
Video cameras used inside building 32 52 41
Video cameras used outside building 24 64 36
All visits recorded on video 18 64 35
Only paid staff (not volunteers) monitor 27 68 22
cases
One monitor per family 21 69 31
No gifts or other items brought to visits 9 84 17
Visiting parent not permitted to take 24 66 29
child(ren) to restroom
Visiting parent not allowed to whisper to 29 57 36
child
Alcohol screening done prior to visit 24 60 38
I don’’t know I believe all
My program if my programs
Other Dependency Cases currently program should
provides provides provide
% checked % checked % checked
Law enforcement present for all visits 29 54 31
Staff observing visits required to have 27 56 44
documented training in child sexual abuse
Metal detectors in use 28 54 33
Video cameras used inside building 35 45 50
Video cameras used outside building 22 62 41
All visits recorded on video 14 63 44
Only paid staff (not volunteers) monitor 27 68 29
cases
One monitor per family 17 63 44
No gifts or other items brought to visits 10 79 21
Visiting parent not permitted to take 26 66 29
child(ren) to restroom
Visiting parent not allowed to whisper to 32 56 37
child
Alcohol screening done prior to visit 18 61 39

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Alternatives to Supervised Visitation

The most popular option when supervised visitation was not
available to a respondent was supervision by a relative or friend
(97% indicated they had used this option), followed by exchange at a
police station or public place (Table 18).

Table 18. Alternatives to Supervised Visitation (N=59)

97
100
78
80

60 53 51

40

20

0
Percent

temporary suspension of visitation
supervision by relative or friend
exchange at police station or public place
visit at mental health professional office

Other alternatives that the respondents ordered when
supervised visitation was not available included:

x Visits at DCF, FCP or FCS offices
x Using the Guardian Ad Litem program
x Paying supervisor/police office/RN/””anyone I can find””
x Privately paid visitation services
x Professional visitation supervisor
x Third party not related to family

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Table 19. Respondents’’ Impressions of Current Supervised
Visitation Issues and Practices (N=65)
Strongly No Strongly
Issue or Practice Disagree Disagree Opinion Agree Agree
% % % % %
Monitoring visits involving child 5 5 6 42 42
sexual abuse requires special
training and expertise
No on-site law enforcement 26 41 11 20 2
presence is necessary for
monitoring cases involving
domestic violence
Only licensed mental health 6 44 14 22 14
professionals should monitor
child sexual abuse cases
Supervised visitation services 6 12 12 53 17
can reduce the need for future
judicial hearings
Children are rarely revictimized 1 27 35 32 5
at supervised visitation
programs by their visiting
parent
Community volunteers can 17 40 21 19 3
adequately monitor any cases
referred to a supervised
visitation center
Supervised visitation staff can 16 53 8 20 3
be asked by the referring court
to make recommendations
regarding custody
Supervised visitation programs 3 11 23 43 20
should be certified and
monitored by DCF or OSCA
Supervised visitation programs 5 6 60 29
should maintain their ability to
decline cases due to lack of
training or lack of security
Child sexual abuse victims 1 5 6 48 40
should be allowed to terminate
contact during a scheduled
visit if they experience
discomfort
Only a child’’s therapist should 5 30 13 41 11
recommend when a child
should have contact with their
abuser in a supervised
visitation setting

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Strongly No Strongly
Issue or Practice Disagree Disagree Opinion Agree Agree
% % % % %
Supervised visitation programs 8 17 42 26 7
should be used for final
goodbyes between parent(s)
and child(ren) following
termination of parental rights
If a supervised visitation 36 55 2 6 1
program terminates a case for
non-compliance I am likely to
order unsupervised visitation
Program directors of 8 54 14 18 6
supervised visitation programs
should not have the right to
decline court referrals for
supervised visitation
All pertinent court and DCF 6 17 19 41 17
records must be made
available to supervised
visitation staff prior to the
scheduling of visits
Staff monitoring visits should 13 50 20 11 6
have master degrees or
equivalent experience and
training

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Recommendations

These survey results illustrate the discrepancies between judicial
impressions of how supervised visitation programs should operate
and how they actually operate. The results also support a number of
recommendations that would enhance the safety of parties referred
to supervised visitation services and increase judges’’ knowledge of
specific issues present in families referred to these programs. The
following recommendations would thus reduce the potential for
revictimization of parties receiving these court-ordered services.
Based upon the findings of these survey results, the Clearinghouse
on Supervised Visitation recommends:

1. Enhanced Judicial Training: Judges consistently expressed
interest in obtaining additional training on topics relevant to
supervised visitation. Such training, on a variety of basic
issues such as appropriate referrals, limitations of programs
and dynamics of participating families, is strongly
recommended, with an emphasis on child sexual abuse-related
issues. For each topic listed in the survey, a majority of
responding judges indicated that they wanted more training.
These topics include: signs and symptoms of child sexual
abuse (53%); family dynamics in child sexual abuse (60%);
characteristics and responses of non-offending parents in child
sexual abuse cases (70%); impact of disclosure of child sexual
abuse (75%); Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome
(76%); triggering events for child experiencing child sexual
abuse (75%); therapeutic goals for sexually abused children
(67%); therapeutic goals for non-offending parent in child
sexual abuse cases (67%); myths about child sexual abuse
(67%); progression pattern in intrafamilial child sexual abuse
(77%); characteristics and prevalence research on juvenile sex
offenders (83%); family and system responses to juvenile
sexual offenders (86%); community resources appropriate for
child sexual abuse cases (67%); identification of child sexual
abuse resources and reports (64%); research on the incidence

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of child victimization at supervised visitation programs (88%);
co-occurrence of child sexual abuse and domestic violence
(75%).

The Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation in the Institute for
Family Violence Studies is planning to develop training material
on these topics for judges under a grant from the Task Force
on Children’’s Justice administered by the Department for
Children and Families. This training manual will be completed
in 2004.

2. Enforcement of Program Agreement Mandate: It is
recommended that the Office of State Court Administrator
and/or the Department of Children and Families more forcefully
mandate that formal agreements between the Chief Judge in
each circuit in Florida and supervised visitation programs within
that circuit be developed, be reviewed annually, and be used
as a vehicle to better inform the Court of what services these
programs can effectively provide to court-referred cases.
a. Judges should be aware of the Florida Supreme
Court’’s Minimum Standards: Survey findings indicate
that 73% of judges responding to the survey did not know
or could not answer whether there was a formal
agreement between their respective chief judge and the
supervised visitation program(s) in their circuits.
b. Judges should become more familiar with
supervised visitation program operating procedures:
Judicial impressions of operating procedures of
supervised visitation programs conflict with how these
programs actually provide services. For example, 84% of
judges responding indicated that they either agree or
strongly agree that ““monitoring visits involving child
sexual abuse requires special training and expertise.”” Yet
most programs providing supervised visitation services to
court-ordered cases involving child sexual abuse
allegations or findings do not require special training or
expertise.

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c. Communication between the court and the local
programs should be improved: 88% of judges
responding indicated that they agree or strongly agree
that ““child sexual abuse victims should be allowed to
terminate contact during a scheduled visit if they
experience discomfort.”” Yet this is not always the
protocol followed by staff of supervised visitation
programs, who often feel they risk judicial disapproval if
they allow children to terminate contact. This
recommendation can be implemented by individual
judges who actively familiarize themselves with their local
programs. It can also be implemented by strengthened
minimum standards.
d. Judges should order relevant records to be released
to supervised visitation programs at the time of case
referral, within the limitations of state law. Fifty-eight
percent (58%) of judges responding to the survey
indicated that they either agree or strongly agree that ““all
pertinent court and DCF records must be made available
to supervised visitation staff prior to the scheduling of
visits.”” However, program staff report that this frequently
does not happen. The result is often that supervised
visitation staff lack crucial information which would help
prevent revictimization of a victim parent or child.
e. Formal agreements between the chief judges of the
circuits and each supervised visitation program
within that circuit should address problematic
issues. These may include issues involving expertise of
staff/volunteers, credentialing of staff supervising cases
involving certain issues (e.g. child sexual abuse),
ensuring that court and DCF records are made available
in a timely fashion, and determining how cases will return
to court if a critical incident occurs (judicial review).

3. Certification and monitoring of programs. It is
recommended that Florida’’s supervised visitation programs be
certified and monitored either by the Office of State Court
Administrators or by the Department of Children and Families.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of responding judges supported this

30
recommendation and only 14% did not (23% had no opinion or
did not answer). Currently supervised visitation programs in
Florida lie outside of the responsibility of either the court or
DCF, even though they provide services to court-ordered
cases or cases involved with the Department. These programs
may be free-standing nonprofits, volunteer, or part of the court,
or they may have a parent agency, such as a domestic
violence center. Whatever their organizational status,
however, they lack oversight by a designated state agency and
are the only program providing services to such at-risk,
vulnerable families that lack these.

Legislation to enact both certification and monitoring has been
introduced in the Legislature the past three years but has not
passed. Discussions during this period of time with
administrators of both OSCA and DCF indicate that each feel it
is the responsibility of the other to assume this responsibility.

4. Strengthening of Minimum Standards: It is recommended
that the Minimum Standards and Guidelines developed in 1997
by the Model Family Court Steering Committee be reviewed,
strengthened, and enacted by statute. Survey results clearly
indicate that there is a strong disconnect between what judges’’
impressions of operating standards are in Florida’’s supervised
visitation programs and the actual standards currently
employed. To cite a few examples illustrating this from the
survey findings:
a. Fifty-seven (57%) of responding judges either strongly
disagree or disagree that ““community volunteers can
adequately monitor any cases referred to supervised
visitation programs.”” Yet in most of Florida’’s programs,
community volunteers are used extensively to monitor
cases——even high risk cases such as those involving
child sexual abuse.
b. Seventy-seven (77%) of judges responding either
Strongly Disagree or Disagree that ““no on-site law
enforcement is necessary for monitoring cases involving
domestic violence.”” This judicial consensus in the belief
that on-site law enforcement is important is currently not

31
reflected in the Minimum Standards or in practice; not all
programs in Florida have on-site law enforcement
available for cases involving domestic violence.
However, critical incident reports collected by the
Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation indicate frequent
examples of threats, intimidation of staff, violations of no-
contact provisions, stalking, and other risks perpetrated
by domestic violence perpetrators or alleged perpetrators
during scheduled services at supervised visitation
programs.

Submitted by
The Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation
Institute for Family Violence Studies
School of Social Work
Florida State University
C-3405 University Center
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570
Phone: 850-644-6303 (ext. 1)
Email: fsuvisit@aol.com

32
Appendix A

2003 Membership List
TASK FORCE ON CHILDREN’’S JUSTICE

Individual with Experience in Working with Children with Disabilities
Charles Ball, Department of Children and Families
Related Experience: Over 13 years of experience working with disabled
persons, including direct care and administration

Criminal Court Judge
Vacant pending appointment

Civil Court Judge
The Honorable Daniel Dawson, Circuit Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit
Related Experience: Circuit Court Judge; Former Assistant State Attorney
and Division Chief of Juvenile Division; Service on Supreme Court’’s
Family Court Steering Committee, Children’’s Court Improvement
Committee, Florida Bar Juvenile Rule Committee, Detention Risk
Assessment Instrument Committee, Department of Children and Families;
Child Welfare Standards and Training Council, Juvenile Justice
Committee of Florida Prosecuting Attorney’’s Association, Department of
Heal and Rehabilitative Service’’ Children, Youth and Family Statewide
Advisory Council, Advisory Council of the Child Protection Team Sex
Abuse Treatment Program, and Florida Shocap Advisory Board; Author of
Florida Bar CLE Chapter entitled ““Families and Children in Need of
Services””

Domestic Violence Advocate, Mental Health Professional, and Child
Advocate
Ms. Cindy Flachmeier, Director, Brevard County Domestic Violence
Program
Related Experience: Extensive experience working with the homeless,
elderly, domestic violence victims, and persons living with AIDS; Former
member of District 7 Strike Force Against Child Abuse

Health and Mental Health Professional
Dr. Michael L. Haney, Director for Prevention & Intervention
Department of Health Children’’s Medical Services
Related Experience: Licensed therapist; Program and policy responsibility
for Prevention and Early Intervention Bureau and Child Protection and
Special Technologies Bureau; Member of Advisory Board of the National
Resource Center for Child Maltreatment; Department of Health Child
Abuse Death Review Coordinator

33
Guardian ad Litem Representative and Experience Working with
Children with Disabilities
Ms. Marcia Hilty-Reinshuttle, Circuit Director, Guardian ad Litem
Program, Second Judicial Circuit
Related Experience: Director of Guardian ad Litem Program serving six
counties; Experience as therapist and administrator for mental and
behavioral health agencies serving children and adolescents, with
responsibilities including the development of behavioral health policies
and procedures

Child Advocate
Ms. Julie Hurst, Executive Director, Emerald Coast Children’’s
Advocacy Center, Inc.
Related Experience: Former victim/witness counselor and administrator
in Office of the State Attorney

Law Enforcement Representative
Ms. Jean Itzin, Planning & Policy Administrator, The Florida
Department of Law Enforcement
Related Experience: Over 17 years of law enforcement experience with
the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, including development and
management of law enforcement information systems, and management
of the Florida Crime Information Center’’s repository of domestic violence
injunctions and civil writs for child support

Child Protective Service Agency Representative
Gladys E. Cherry, Director of Family Safety, Department of Children
and Families
Related Experience: Attorney for Office of the Governor, Oklahoma;
Assistant General Counsel, Oklahoma Tax Commission; Program
Administrator, and Social Services Supervisor with Oklahoma Department
of Human Services; Social Worker with Department of Human Services
and Tri-County Community Action Headstart; VISTA Volunteer; Board of
Directors, Oklahoma County League of Women Voters; Trustee,
Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency; Member, Oklahoma Task Force on
Administrative Rules

Mental Health Professional
Ms. Kathleen Langford, Executive Director, The Journey Institute
Related Experience: Mental health professional; Volunteer guardian ad
litem and former supervisor of volunteer guardians

Defense Attorney
Vacant pending appointment

34
Parent Group Representative
Ms. Carol McNally, Executive Director, Healthy Families Florida
Related Experience: Extensive experience with programs serving children
and families, with expertise in employment and training and the prevention
of child abuse and neglect; Instrumental in establishing Team Florida, a
state level workgroup of agencies collaborating to ensure coordination and
avoid duplication of services

Department Attorney
Ms. Kelly McKibben, Managing Attorney, Department of Children &
Families
Related Experience: Oversight of four Child Welfare Legal Services
offices; Former member of Operations Board of Children’’s Advocacy
Center of Brevard and current member of Friends of the Children’’s
Advocacy Center of Brevard; Provider of legal training on various child
abuse and neglect issues and domestic violence

Attorney for Children and Defense Attorney for Parents
Ms. Gail Linscott Silva, Attorney at Law
Related Experience: Representation of parties in family court, including
dependency court, guardian ad litem, and attorney ad litem appointments;
Certified family law mediator

Prosecuting Attorney
Mr. Mike Sinacore, Assistant State Attorney, Thirteenth Judicial
Circuit
Related Experience: Service in Sex Offender Division for over six years,
serving as Division Chief for the past two and a half years; Former Public
Defender, including four years as Felony Division Chief and one year in
special litigation defending sexual battery cases

Health Professionals
Dr. Jay Whitworth, Executive Medical Director, Children’’s Crisis
Center, Inc.
Related Experience: Professor Pediatrics at the University of Florida
Health Science Center in Jacksonville; Primary consultant to Florida’’s
Child Protection Team program; Consultant to medical child evaluators
nationwide; Author of numerous articles and training manuals that have
strengthened the practice of medical and non-medical professionals in the
area of child abuse diagnosis and evaluation; Co-author of national
guidelines for evaluation of child physical and sexual abuse for the
American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics;
Participated in numerous state and national task forces focused on mult-
system efforts to strengthen the protection of children

35
Law Enforcement Representative
Lieutenant K. Andy Ray, Polk County Sheriff’’s Office
Related Experience: Service with Polk County Sheriff’’s Office for almost
sixteen years with current assignment to the Bureau of Criminal
Investigation, Special Victims Section, which includes investigation of child
physical and sexual abuse; Prior assignments to Drug Abuse Resistance
Education (DARE) unit, School Resource unit, patrol units and crime
prevention.

36
Appendix B

Florida’’s Supervised Visitation Programs

Judicial Circuit
1st
Tammy Connors, Director
Fran L. Frick Family Visitation Center
875 Royce Street
Pensacola, FL 32503
(850) 494-5985 Fax:(850)494-5989
Tammy.Connors@chsfl.org

Sharon Rogers, Program Director
Judge Ben Gordon, Jr. Family Visitation Center
PO Box 436 Shalimar, FL 32579
(850)609-1850 Fax:(850) 609-1851
SharonGRogers@hotmail.com

Sharon Rogers, Program Director
Crestview Family Visitation Program
C/O P.O. Box 436 Shalimar, FL
850-609-1850 Fax850-609-1851
SharonGRogers@hotmail.com
2nd
Susan Marvin, Director
The Family Visitation Program of Tallahassee
301 S. Monroe Street, Room 203D
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850)645-5612 Fax:(850) 922-0353
susanm@mail.co.leon.fl.us

3rd
Pam Pearce, Program Director
Family Visitation Center of the Suwannee Valley
1560 W. Baya Avenue
Lake City, FL 32025
(386)758-5760 Fax:(386) 758-5765
Pam.pearce@chsfl.org
4th
Joseph Nullet, Executive Director
The Family Nurturing Center of Florida, Inc.
1221 King St.
Jacksonville, FL 32204
(904)389-4244 Fax:(904) 389-4255
joe@FncFlorida.org

37
Sherry Bruner, Director
Kids’’ Bridge
238 San Marco Dr.
St. Augustine, FL
Fax: 904-823-3181
sherry.bruner@chsfl.org
5th
Nancy Castillo, Program Supervisor
Family Visitation Center of Ocala
216 NE Sanchez Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470
(352)622-9408 Fax:(352)622-2035
nairza@hotmail.com

Jo Anna Woody, Director
Citrus County Family Visitation Center, Inc.
PO Box 1184
Inverness, FL 34451
(352)637-3154 Fax:(352)637-2893
joannawoody@hotmail.com

Mari Claiborne, Exec. Director
Hernando County Visitation Center
275 Oak Street
Brooksville, FL 34601
(352)796-7024 Fax:(352)-346-7092
hcvisitation@mybluelight.com

Diane Pisczek, Director
Lake Sumter Children’’s Advocacy Center
220 N. Rockingham Avenue
Tavares, FL 32778
(352)343-6200 Fax:(352)949-7733
cac4kids@earthlink.net
6th
Kris Nowland, Director
The Visitation Center of CASA
P.O. Box 414 St.
Petersburg, FL 33731
(727)897-9204 Fax:(727)895-8090
knowland@casa-stpete.org

Kirsten Maynard, Director

38
Children’’s Home Society Family Visitation Center
2731 13th Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
(727)552-1487 (ext.1)
Kirsten.Maynard@chsfl.org

Richard Hess, Director
Pasco Family Protection Team
7511 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34654
(727)845-8080 Fax:(727)848-1292
rhess@sanctum.com

7th
Dori Gluz, Director
The Family Tree House Visitation Center
525 S. Ridgewood Ave
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386)323-2550 Fax(386)304-7619
dorigluz@bellsouth.net

Jennifer Beckwith, Coordinator
Deland Supervised Visitation Center
203 West Wisconsin Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
(386)740-3839 (ext. 224) Fax (386)740-2607
jennifer.beckwith@chsfl.org
8th
Pam Pearce, Program Director
Family Visitation Center of Alachua County
1409 NW 36 Place
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352)334-0882 Fax:(352)334-0883
Pam.pearce@chsfl.org
9th
Eunice Nelson, Director
The Family Support and Visitation Center
118 Pasadena Place
Orlando, FL 32803
(407)999-5577Fax:(407)999-5580
enelson@devereux.org

Christine Houoios, Program Director
Family Ties Visitation Center
PO Box 4934, 425 N. Orange Ave.,

39
Room #330, 3rd FL
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 836-0427
ctfcaf2@ocnjcc.org

Jackie Dalton, Director
The Children’’s Visitation Center for
Families with DV Injunctions
2 Courthouse Square, Ste #3100
Kissimmee, FL 34769
(407)343-2467 Fax(407) 343-2446
ctadjd2@ocnjcc.org

Laura Olivo, Director
Osceola Family Visitation
2653 Michigan Avenue
Kissimmee, FL 34744
(407)846-5077 Fax:(407) 846-5080
Laura.Olivo@chsfl.org
10th
Faye Hamilton, Director
CHS Family Vistitation Center
PO Box 9000, Drawer J148
Bartow, FL 33830
(863)534-4357 Fax:(863) 534-4190
fhamilton@jud10.flcourts.org
11th
Roxana Campos, Director
CHS Family Visitation Center
1471 N.W. 8th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
(305)325-2632 Fax:(305)325-2632
roxana.campos@chsfl.org

Linda Fieldstone, Director
Family Court Services
175 NW First Avenue, 15th Floor
Miami, FL 33128
(305)349-5575 Fax:(305)349-5634
lfieldstone@jud11.flcourts.org

Anthony Robbins, Director,
Division of Family Preservation
PO Box 473201
Miami, FL 33247-3201
(786)285-7775 Fax:(954)433-8705

40
equality@bellsouth.net

Nadine Pierre-Louis
9245 SW 157 St. Ste. 206
Miami, FL 33157
Phone ; 786-242-3909
Fax:786-242-5199
pierrelouisnpl@aol.com
12th
Carol Rosenbaum, Director
Family Resources, Inc.
361 Sixth Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205
(941)708-5893
Fax: (941)741-3578
CRosenbaum@family-resources.org

Lexie Wehrenburg, Director
The Children & Families Supervised Visitation
Program
1750 17th Street, Unit L
Sarasota, FL 34234
(941)378-2866 Fax:(941)377-3226
13th
Trish Waterman, Director
Children’’s Justice Center’’s Supervised Visitation
Program
700 East Twigs Street, Suite 102
Tampa, FL 33602
(813)272-7179 Fax:(813)276-2404
watermpl@fljud13.org

Justin La Rosa, Michelle Lee, Directors
Child Abuse Council Visitation Program
3108 W. Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33609
(813)356-1293 ext. 232 Fax:(813)673-4644
jlarosa@cachillsborough.com
michelle.lee@hillsboroughkids.org

14th
Cindy Lee, Community Resource Director
Tri-County Community Counsel
302 N. Oklahoma Street
Bonifay, FL 32425

41
(850)547-3688
Fax: (850) 547-1010
tricounty.able@digitalexp.com

Sandi Garmon, Director
New Beginnings
P.O. Box 677
Panama City, FL 32402
(850)913-9550 Fax:(850)913-8187
SandiG060378@aol.com
15th
Don Ehrhardt, Director
The Family Connection Program
205 N. Dixie Hwy, Suite #5-1130
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561)355-3200 Fax:(561)355-1661
dehrhardt@co.palm-beach.fl.us

Hallie Pasternack
Children’’s Place
159 NW 3rd Street
Boca Raton, FL 33432
(561) 393-7495 Fax:(561)393-5063
hpasternack@tcphs.org
16th
Jessica Yatsuk, Director
The Family Access Center of the
Domestic Abuse Shelter Inc.
#3 Key Lime Square
Key West, FL 33040
(305)294-4532 Fax:(305)294-1574
Jessie7677@msn.com
17th
Carolyn Pittelli
Our House
408 NE 4th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954)765-4159 Fax:(954)765-4075
cpittelli@broward.org

18th

Cindy Flachmeier, Director
The Salvation Army N. Central
Brevard County DV Program
919 Peachtree Street

42
Cocoa, FL 32923
(321)631-2766 ext 18
Fax:(321)631-1794
cindy_flachmeier@uss.salvationarmy.org

Gene Schweizer, Director
Family Focus
Salvation Army of Seminole
PO Box 1946
Sanford, FL 32772-1946
(407) 322-2642 ext 225
Fax: (407)324-2260
gene_schweizer@uss.salvationarmy.org
19th
Marie Bradt, Director
Valued Visits--Exchange Club CASTLE
PO Box 12908
Ft. Pierce, FL 34979
(561)465-6011 Fax:(561)465-6013
MTABradt@aol.com
20th
Gail Varley, Director
The Family Connection, Inc.
3406 Palm Beach Road
Ft. Myers, FL 33916
(239)461-7519 Fax:(239)338-3243
egvarley@aol.com

Gail Tunnock and Jacqueline Griffith Stephens
Family Visitation Center
1034 6th Avenue, North
Naples, FL 34102
(239)263-8383 Fx:(239)263-7931
cptnaples@att.net

Daryl Garner, Director
Charlotte County Supervised Visitation Program
3440 Depew Circle
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
(941)255-0677 Fax:(941)255-0797
reillycenter@earthlink.net

43
Appendix C

Survey on Judicial Practices

44
SURVEY ON JUDICIAL PRACTICES

!
in Utilization of Supervised Visitation Programs
The following survey has been developed by the Institute for Family Violence Studies within The Florida State University’’s
School of Social Work under a contract with the State of Florida’’s Department of Children & Families. The Task Force for
Children’’s Justice is interested in collecting data on the practices of Florida’’s judges who utilize or may utilize any of Florida’’s
supervised visitation programs.
The findings of this study will be presented to the Department of Children & Families’’ staff and to members of The Task Force
for Children’’s Justice. It is hoped that the results of this research will lead to a better understanding of how these services are
used and how the State may enhance these programs’’ abilities to provide supervised visitation services. Neither names nor any
other identifying characteristics of judges responding to this survey will be used in the report produced from the survey
results. All answers to survey questions will be aggregated and no individual responses will be reported. Further, all returned
surveys will be kept in a secure office with access limited to project staff and will be destroyed following the end of the project.
Anonymity of survey respondents will be assured. Should you have any questions regarding the survey or desire a copy of any
findings generated from this study, please contact The Institute for Family Violence Studies, School of Social Work, Florida
State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, phone 850.644.6303.

Once completed, please return the survey in the enclosed, business return envelope.
Thank you for participating in this study.

Background Information on Responding Judge
1. What is your current position:

Circuit Judge

County Judge

General Master

Hearing Officer

Other, please specify

2. In which circuit(s) do you currently serve?

3. Within your circuit which county(ies) do you hear cases?

4. How long have you served on the bench?

5. What was the year you were admitted to the Florida Bar?

Knowledge of Local Supervised Visitation Program
6. What is the name of the local supervised visitation program(s) you use?

7. Does your circuit have a formal agreement* between the chief judge of your circuit and any supervised
visitation program in your circuit that accepts court-referred cases?
Yes No Uncertain
* Formal agreement is defined as a written agreement between the chief judge of each circuit and local visitation
programs willing to comply with the Supreme Court of Florida Minimum Standards for Supervised Visitation
Program Agreements, as described in an Administrative Order by Chief Justice Major B. Harding on
November 18, 1999.
8.Have you visited your supervised visitation program(s):
Have never visited
Within the last six months
Six months to a year ago
One year to two years ago
Over two years ago
9. When you order a case for supervised visitation, what is the duration of the supervised visitation order?
(check all that apply)
There is no time limit for cases referred from the court to the supervised visitation program(s);
A family can be refered for six months initially and then can reapply to the court for an extension;
A family can be referred for a nine month period;
A family can be referred for a twelve month period;
Varies depending upon specific case needs.
Other
10. Do you have formal mechanisms* in place to follow up on cases you refer/order to your local supervised
visitation program? (check all that apply)
*Formal mechanisms are written procedures for providing reports to the courts –– including observation reports, incident
reports and summary reports –– which are enumerated in the court’’s agreement with the supervised visitation program.
Yes. The court requires monthly/bi-monthly reports back to the court.
No.
Only at the end of the time period for supervised visitation ordered.
Parties must file motion for court to hear of problems in the order for visitation.
Court reviews program reports and sets hearings sua sponte when problems arise in the supervised visitation
Other
11. When did you read the policies and procedures of your local supervised visitation program?
I read them in the past year.
I read them within the last two years.
I have not read the policies and procedures.
I don’’t know for certain.
12. Which of the following statements best describes your reactions to the Supreme Court’’s Recommended
Minimum Standards & Guidelines for Florida’’s Supervised Visitation programs: (check all that apply)
I am not familiar with these Recommended Minimum Standards and Guidelines
The Standards & Guidelines should be mandated not just recommended;
Either OSCA or DCF should assume responsibility for ensuring that these Minimum Standards &
Guidelines are being implemented by supervised visitation providers.
Other (please discuss)
13. How much background information about cases you refer do you think supervised visitation program staff
should have prior to monitoring a case you refer: (check all that apply)
Staff needs only a court-order for supervised visitation prior to monitoring visits.
Staff should have reviewed the DCF case file, or received a case summary from the caseworker about the
allegations, or have spoken directly to the caseworker about the allegations prior to monitoring visits.
Staff should review law enforcement reports about the parties prior to monitoring visits.
Staff should conduct criminal background check on the parents prior to monitoring visits.
Staff should review medical and/or mental health records on the child(ren) prior to monitoring visits.
Staff should review court records on the parties prior to monitoring visits.
Staff should review the Injunction for Protection prior to monitoring visits.
Staff should conduct a risk assessment on parties prior to monitoring visits.

UTILIZATION OF SUPERVISED VISITATION PROGRAMS
14. We are interested in learning about the points at which judges utilize supervised visitation programs for cases
involving child sexual abuse. Please check all the following points in case processing where you have referred a
child sexual abuse case to your local supervised visitation program. If you have not referred a child sexual abuse
case to a supervised visitation program during any of these points, please indicate the reasons for not doing so.
(Note: assume that the visit you order is between the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim.)
A. I have referred child sexual abuse cases for supervised visitation during the initial Department of Children
& Families’’ investigation of the reported sexual abuse allegation:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
B. I have referred child sexual abuse cases to supervised visitation following the examination of the child by
the Child Protection Team:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
C. I have referred child sexual abuse cases to supervised visitation after the Department of Children &
Families has filed charges against the child’’s parent or guardian:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
D. I have referred child sexual abuse cases to supervised visitation after the DCF or law enforcement
investigation has indicated that the allegation is founded:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
E. I have referred child sexual abuse cases to supervised visitation when the perpetrator has acknowledged
or has pled guilty to the sexual abuse:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
F. I have referred child sexual abuse cases to supervised visitation only after the perpetrator has received
court-ordered treatment:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
Please continue with the Survey on the following page
G. I have referred child sexual abuse cases to supervised visitation only after the perpetrator has served a period
of incarceration:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
H. I have referred child sexual abuse cases for supervised visitation only when the child’’s mental health
therapist recommends that such contact is in the child’’s best interest:
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
15. We are also interested in learning the points at which judges utilize supervised visitation for cases involving
domestic violence. Please check all the following points in case processing where you either have referred or
would refer a domestic violence case to your local supervised visitation program. If you have not or would not
refer a domestic violence case to a supervised visitation program at any one of these points, please indicate your
reason for not doing so:
A. When the temporary injunction is ordered.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
B. When the permanent injunction is ordered.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
C. While the batterer is attending a court-ordered Batterers’’ Intervention Program.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
D.When the batterer has completed a court-ordered Batterers’’ Intervention Program.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
E. Other (please describe)
16. In cases involving other types of dependency allegations or findings, at which points do you either have referred
or would refer supervised visitation services from your local program:
A. At the Shelter Hearing.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
B. At the arraignment of the offending parent.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
C. As part of the Department’’s case plan or safety plan.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
D.At the trial, if there is a finding that the child is a dependent.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
E. As part of the parties’’ mediation agreement and the subsequent order by the court.
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
F. Following a Termination of Parental Rights Hearing to allow the parent(s) a final opportunity to say good-bye
to the child(ren).
Never Rarely (less than 5 times/year) Sometimes (in less than 10% of cases)
Routinely (in a majority of cases) Comments/Reason
17. Have you ordered supervised visitation when the following are either alleged or present:
(check if you have ordered...)
Alleged Present Alleged Present
in Dependency Cases in Dissolution Cases

Child sexual abuse
Parental drug abuse
Parental alcohol abuse
Concern over possibility of
parental kidnapping
Parental alienation
Parental mental illness
Domestic violence
Child maltreatment (physical abuse)
Concerns over excessive
corporal punishment
Child maltreatment (child neglect)
Long-term parental absence requiring
““familiarization visits””
Other

18. In dissolution cases have you ordered supervised visitation at any of the following points:
A. At hearings for temporary relief: Yes No
B. At final hearings: Yes No
C. As part of the parties’’ mediation agreement which is subsequently ordered by the court: Yes No
19. When a supervised visitation program is not available to accept your referral, what alternatives do you order?
(check all that apply)
I have temporarily suspended visitation altogether.
I have ordered visitation to be supervised by a relative or friend of the parties.
I have ordered exchanges to take place at a police station or other public place.
I have ordered visitation to take place at the office of a mental health professional.
Other

Please continue with the Survey on the following page
Understanding of Security Arrangements at Supervised Visitation Programs
20. For each of the following types of cases you may refer to your local supervised visitation program, please indicate
the current type of security provided plus the type of security measure you would like program to provide if the
program is not currently offering this type of security arrangement.

Type of security measure My I don’’t I believe all Type of security measure My I don’’t I believe all
program know if my programs program know if my programs
currently program should currently program should
provides currently provide provides currently provide
provides Child Sexual Abuse Cases provides
DomesticViolence
Law enforcement present for all visits Law enforcement present for all visits
Staff observing visits required to have Staff observing visits required to have
documented training in child sexual abuse documented training in child sexual abuse
Metal detectors in use Metal detectors in use
Video cameras used inside building Video cameras used inside building
where visits will occur where visits will occur
Video cameras used outside building Video cameras used outside building
All visits recorded by video-camera All visits recorded by video-camera
Only paid staff (not volunteers) Only paid staff (not volunteers)
monitor cases monitor cases
One monitor per family One monitor per family
No gifts or other items brought to visits No gifts or other items brought to visits
Visiting parent not permitted to take Visiting parent not permitted to take
child(ren) to restroom child(ren) to restroom
Visiting parent not allowed to Visiting parent not allowed to
whisper to child whisper to child
Alcohol screening done prior to visit Alcohol screening done prior to visit

Type of security measure My I don’’t I believe all Type of security measure My I don’’t I believe all
program know if my programs program know if my programs
currently program should currently program should
provides currently provide provides currently provide
Other Family Law Cases provides Other Dependency Cases provides

Law enforcement present for all visits Law enforcement present for all visits
Staff observing visits required to have Staff observing visits required to have
documented training in child sexual abuse documented training in child sexual abuse
Metal detectors in use Metal detectors in use
Video cameras used inside building Video cameras used inside building
where visits will occur where visits will occur
Video cameras used outside building Video cameras used outside building
All visits recorded by video-camera All visits recorded by video-camera
Only paid staff (not volunteers) Only paid staff (not volunteers)
monitor cases monitor cases
One monitor per family One monitor per family
No gifts or other items brought to visits No gifts or other items brought to visits
Visiting parent not permitted to take Visiting parent not permitted to take
child(ren) to restroom child(ren) to restroom
Visiting parent not allowed to Visiting parent not allowed to
whisper to child whisper to child
Alcohol screening done prior to visit Alcohol screening done prior to visit
JUDICIAL TRAINING ON SUPERVISED VISITATION
21. How many hours of training have you received in the past three years have you received on the following topics:
Domestic Violence: #Number of hours
Child Sexual Abuse: #Number of hours
Other Types of Child Maltreatment: #Number of Hours
Dynamics of Divorce: #Number of Hours
Child Development: #Number of Hours
Supervised Visitation: #Number of Hours
22. Please indicate which of the following topics were covered by your training. Also indicate which of these topics
you would like to receive more training on.
Covered Want more training
Signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse
Family dynamics in child sexual abuse
Characteristics & responses of non-offending
parents in child sexual abuse cases
Research findings on incest perpetrators
Impact of disclosure on child, the non-offending
parent and offending parent
The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome
Triggering events for children experiencing child sexual abuse
Therapeutic goals for child sexual abuse perpetrators
Therapeutic goals for sexually abused children
Therapeutic goals for the non-offending parent in
child sexual abuse cases
Myths about child sexual abuse
Progression pattern in intra-familial child sexual abuse
Characteristics & prevalence research on juvenile sexual offenders
Family & systems responses to juvenile sexual offenders
Community resources appropriate for child sexual abuse cases
Identification of child sexual abuse resources and experts
Research on the incidence of child revictimization at
supervised visitation programs
Co-occurence of child sexual abuse and domestic violence
Other (please list other topics):

Please continue with the Survey on the following page
Judicial Impressions of Current Supervised Visitation Issues & Practices
Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree
23. Monitoring visits involving child sexual
abuse requires special training and expertise.
24. No on-site law enforcement presence is
necessary for monitoring cases involving
domestic violence.
25. Only licensed mental health professionals
should monitor child sexual abuse cases.
26. Supervised visitation services can reduce the
need for future judicial hearings.
27. Children are rarely revictimized at supervised
visitation programs by their visiting parent.
28. Community (lay) volunteers can adequately
monitor any cases referred to a supervised
visitation program.
29. Supervised visitation staff can be asked by the
referring court to make recommendations
regarding custody.
30. Supervised visitation programs should be
certified and monitored by the Dept. of
Children & Families or OSCA.
31. Supervised visitation programs should maintain
their ability to decline cases due to lack of
training or lack of security measures in place
for particular cases.
32. Child sexual abuse victims should be allowed to
terminate contact during a scheduled visit if they
experience discomfort.
33. Only a child’’s therapist should recommend
when a child should have contact with their abuser
in a supervised visitation setting.
34. Supervised visitation programs should be used
for final good-byes between parent(s) and
child(ren) following termination of parental
rights hearings.
35. If a supervised visitation program terminates
a case for non-compliance I am likely to order
unsupervised visitation.
36. Program directors of supervised visitation
programs should not have the right to decline
court referrals for supervised visitation.
37. All pertinent court and DCF records must be
made available to supervised visitation staff prior
to the scheduling of visits.
38. Staff monitoring visits should have master
degrees or equivalent experience and training.

Once completed, please return the survey in the enclosed, business return envelope.
Again, thank you for participating in this study.
If you do not have a copy of the Supreme Court’’s Minimum Standards for Supervised Visitation Program Agreements or the Administrative Order
relating to Supervised Visitation signed by Chief Justice Harding on Nov. 18, 1999, please contact our office at 850/644-6303.