Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 8. CUSTODY OF CHILDREN [3000 - 3465]

  ( Division 8 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 2. RIGHT TO CUSTODY OF MINOR CHILD [3020 - 3204]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 13. Supervised Visitation and Exchange Services, Education, and Counseling [3200 - 3204]
  ( Heading of Chapter 13 amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1004, Sec. 1. )

3200.
  

The Judicial Council shall develop standards for supervised visitation providers in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this section. For the purposes of the development of these standards, the term “provider” shall include any individual who functions as a visitation monitor, as well as supervised visitation centers. Provisions shall be made within the standards to allow for the diversity of supervised visitation providers.

(a) When developing standards, the Judicial Council shall consider all of the following issues:

(1) The provider’s qualifications, experience, and education.

(2) Safety and security procedures, including ratios of children per supervisor.

(3) Any conflict of interest.

(4) Maintenance and disclosure of records, including confidentiality policies.

(5) Procedures for screening, delineation of terms and conditions, and termination of supervised visitation services.

(6) Procedures for emergency or extenuating situations.

(7) Orientation to and guidelines for cases in which there are allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or special circumstances.

(8) The legal obligations and responsibilities of supervisors.

(b) The Judicial Council shall consult with visitation centers, mothers’ groups, fathers’ groups, judges, the State Bar of California, children’s advocacy groups, domestic violence prevention groups, Family Court Services, and other groups it regards as necessary in connection with these standards.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the safety of children, adults, and visitation supervisors be a precondition to providing visitation services. Once safety is assured, the best interest of the child is the paramount consideration at all stages and particularly in deciding the manner in which supervision is provided.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 193, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2005.)

3200.5.
  

(a) Any standards for supervised visitation providers adopted by the Judicial Council pursuant to Section 3200 shall conform to this section. A provider, as described in Section 3200, shall be a professional provider or nonprofessional provider.

(b) In any case in which the court has determined that there is domestic violence or child abuse or neglect, as defined in Section 11165.6 of the Penal Code, and the court determines supervision is necessary, the court shall consider whether to use a professional or nonprofessional provider based upon the child’s best interest.

(c) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Nonprofessional provider” means any person who is not paid for providing supervised visitation services. Unless otherwise ordered by the court or stipulated by the parties, the nonprofessional provider shall:

(A) Have no record of a conviction for child molestation, child abuse, or other crimes against a person.

(B) Have proof of automobile insurance if transporting the child.

(C) Have no current or past court order in which the provider is the person being supervised.

(D) Agree to adhere to and enforce the court order regarding supervised visitation.

(2) “Professional provider” means any person paid for providing supervised visitation services, or an independent contractor, employee, intern, or volunteer operating independently or through a supervised visitation center or agency. The professional provider shall:

(A) Be at least 21 years of age.

(B) Have no record of a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) within the last five years.

(C) Not have been on probation or parole for the last 10 years.

(D) Have no record of a conviction for child molestation, child abuse, or other crimes against a person.

(E) Have proof of automobile insurance if transporting the child.

(F) Have no civil, criminal, or juvenile restraining orders within the last 10 years.

(G) Have no current or past court order in which the provider is the person being supervised.

(H) Be able to speak the language of the party being supervised and of the child, or the provider must provide a neutral interpreter over 18 years of age who is able to do so.

(I) Agree to adhere to and enforce the court order regarding supervised visitation.

(J) Meet the training requirements set forth in subdivision (d).

(d) (1) Professional providers shall have received 24 hours of training that includes training in the following subjects:

(A)  The role of a professional provider.

(B)  Child abuse reporting laws.

(C)  Recordkeeping procedures.

(D)  Screening, monitoring, and termination of visitation.

(E)  Developmental needs of children.

(F)  Legal responsibilities and obligations of a provider.

(G)  Cultural sensitivity.

(H)  Conflicts of interest.

(I)  Confidentiality.

(J)  Issues relating to substance abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence.

(K)  Basic knowledge of family and juvenile law.

(2) Professional providers shall sign a declaration or any Judicial Council form that they meet the training and qualifications of a provider.

(e) The ratio of children to a professional provider shall be contingent on:

(1) The degree of risk factors present in each case.

(2) The nature of supervision required in each case.

(3) The number and ages of the children to be supervised during a visit.

(4) The number of people visiting the child during the visit.

(5) The duration and location of the visit.

(6) The experience of the provider.

(f) Professional providers of supervised visitation shall:

(1) Advise the parties before commencement of supervised visitation that no confidential privilege exists.

(2) Report suspected child abuse to the appropriate agency, as provided by law, and inform the parties of the provider’s obligation to make those reports.

(3) Suspend or terminate visitation under subdivision (h).

(g) Professional providers shall:

(1) Prepare a written contract to be signed by the parties before commencement of the supervised visitation. The contract should inform each party of the terms and conditions of supervised visitation.

(2) Review custody and visitation orders relevant to the supervised visitation.

(3) Keep a record for each case, including, at least, all of the following:

(A) A written record of each contact and visit.

(B) Who attended the visit.

(C) Any failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the visitation.

(D) Any incidence of abuse, as required by law.

(h) (1) Each provider shall make every reasonable effort to provide a safe visit for the child and the noncustodial party.

(2) If a provider determines that the rules of the visit have been violated, the child has become acutely distressed, or the safety of the child or the provider is at risk, the visit may be temporarily interrupted, rescheduled at a later date, or terminated.

(3) All interruptions or terminations of visits shall be recorded in the case file.

(4) All providers shall advise both parties of the reasons for the interruption or termination of a visit.

(i) A professional provider shall state the reasons for temporary suspension or termination of supervised visitation in writing and shall provide the written statement to both parties, their attorneys, the attorney for the child, and the court.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 76, Sec. 60. Effective January 1, 2014.)

3201.
  

Any supervised visitation maintained or imposed by the court shall be administered in accordance with Section 26.2 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration recommended by the Judicial Council.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 985, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2000.)

3201.5.
  

(a) The programs described in this chapter shall be administered by the family law division of the superior court in the county.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, “education about protecting children during family disruption” includes education on parenting skills and the impact of parental conflict on children, how to put a parenting agreement into effect, and the responsibility of both parents to comply with custody and visitation orders.

(Added by renumbering Section 3201 (as added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1004, Sec. 2) by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 145. Effective January 1, 2016.)

3202.
  

(a) All supervised visitation and exchange programs funded pursuant to this chapter shall comply with all requirements of the Uniform Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation set forth in Standard 5.20 of the Standards of Judicial Administration as amended. The family law division of the superior court may contract with eligible providers of supervised visitation and exchange services, education, and group counseling to provide services under this chapter.

(b) As used in this section, “eligible provider” means:

(1) For providers of supervised visitation and exchange services, a local public agency or nonprofit entity that satisfies the Uniform Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation.

(2) For providers of group counseling, a professional licensed to practice psychotherapy in this state, including, but not limited to, a licensed psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed professional clinical counselor; or a mental health intern working under the direct supervision of a professional licensed to practice psychotherapy.

(3) For providers of education, a professional with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human behavior, child development, psychology, counseling, family-life education, or a related field, having specific training in issues relating to child and family development, substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, effective parenting, and the impact of divorce and interparental conflict on children; or an intern working under the supervision of that professional.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 61, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)

3203.
  

Subject to the availability of federal funding for the purposes of this chapter, the family law division of the superior court in each county may establish and administer a supervised visitation and exchange program, programs for education about protecting children during family disruption, and group counseling programs for parents and children under this chapter. The programs shall allow parties and children to participate in supervised visitation between a custodial party and a noncustodial party or joint custodians, and to participate in the education and group counseling programs, irrespective of whether the parties are or are not married to each other or are currently living separately and apart on a permanent or temporary basis.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1004, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2000.)

3204.
  

(a) The Judicial Council shall annually submit an application to the federal Administration for Children and Families, pursuant to Section 669B of the “1996 Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Recovery Act” (PRWORA), for a grant to fund child custody and visitation programs pursuant to this chapter.

The Judicial Council shall be charged with the administration of the grant funds.

(b) (1) It is the intention of the Legislature that, effective October 1, 2000, the grant funds described in subdivision (a) shall be used to fund the following three types of programs: supervised visitation and exchange services, education about protecting children during family disruption, and group counseling for parents and children, as set forth in this chapter. Contracts shall follow a standard request for proposal procedure, that may include multiple year funding. Requests for proposals shall meet all state and federal requirements for receiving access and visitation grant funds.

(2) The grant funds shall be awarded with the intent of approving as many requests for proposals as possible while assuring that each approved proposal would provide beneficial services and satisfy the overall goals of the program under this chapter. The Judicial Council shall determine the final number and amount of grants. Requests for proposals shall be evaluated based on the following criteria:

(A) Availability of services to a broad population of parties.

(B) The ability to expand existing services.

(C) Coordination with other community services.

(D) The hours of service delivery.

(E) The number of counties or regions participating.

(F) Overall cost-effectiveness.

(G) The purpose of the program to promote and encourage healthy parent and child relationships between noncustodial parents and their children, while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the children.

(3) Special consideration for grant funds shall be given to proposals that coordinate supervised visitation and exchange services, education, and group counseling with existing court-based programs and services.

(c) The family law division of the superior court in each county shall approve sliding scale fees that are based on the ability to pay for all parties, including low-income families, participating in a supervised visitation and exchange, education, and group counseling programs under this chapter.

(d) The Judicial Council shall, on March 1, 2002, and on the first day of March of each subsequent even-numbered year, report to the Legislature on the programs funded pursuant to this chapter and whether and to what extent those programs are achieving the goal of promoting and encouraging healthy parent and child relationships between noncustodial or joint custodial parents and their children while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of children, and the other goals described in this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 738, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2008.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM