We are proud to offer supervised visit and exchange services and hope that your time spent in our program will be a pleasant and rewarding experience.
In order to ensure a safe, child friendly environment, your complete co-operation with Dalhousie Place policies is required.
WHO CAN USE DALHOUSIE PLACE?
Many parents are required by Court Order to use the Centre. Others identify the need to keep their children out of parental disputes. Each adult participant must complete an intake interview and agree to abide by the rules before using the service.
Arranging Visits & Exchanges
All new clients must complete an intake interview and provide Dalhousie Place with all the appropriate paperwork prior to access commencing. Each party is responsible for a $25 intake fee. Orientations are also arranged. All visits and exchanges must be pre-arranged through the Dalhousie Place office staff. Unscheduled visits and exchanges are not permitted. Please note that there may be a waiting list at times.
Visits are a maximum of 2 hours in length and up to twice a week. Please note that while we do our best to facilitate court orders, access times are subject to our availability and hours of operation.
The Centre requires a signed, stamped court order when visits and/or exchanges have been arranged through the court system. Please note that it may take a few weeks to obtain this order after a court hearing.
There is a user fee for both the Decision Making Parent and the Access Parent. This fee ranges from $5.00 - $15.00. No parent is denied access to services due to their inability to pay. Clients are asked to have their fee available upon arrival to the Centre.
Upon request, Dalhousie Place can prepare reports for the courts and legal counsel. There is a fee for these reports. Please contact Dalhousie Place for more information.
Timing Your Visits
The Decision Making Parent/Guardian is required to bring the child/children to the Centre 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the visit or exchange and pick the child/children up 15 minutes after the end of the visit or exchange.
The Access Parent is required to arrive at the exact time of the scheduled visit or exchange and leave immediately following the end of the visit or exchange.
It is the responsibility of the Decision Making Parent/Guardian to leave a phone number where they can be reached during the visit or exchange. They are also required to inform staff of any emergency information regarding the children. If anyone other than the Decision Making Parent/Guardian will be dropping off or picking up the child/children, they must let staff know this person’s name and relationship to the child/children. Please note that this person is also required to sign releases.
Both the Decision Making Parent/Guardian and Access Parent are required to inform staff of any change of contact information (i.e., address, phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc).
If you need to cancel a visit or exchange, please contact Dalhousie Place as soon as possible. Failure to provide 24-hours notice will result in a cancellation fee. Repeated cancellations will be reviewed and may result in discharge from the program.
If you do not show up for a scheduled visit or exchange, you will be marked as a No Show. Three No Shows in a row may result in discharge from the program. A fee will be charged for each No Show.
Make up visits and/or exchanges may be arranged if the child is sick or if the Decision Making Parent/Guardian is unable to bring the child to the Centre for a scheduled visit or exchange. Please note that this is subject to availability. Make up visits will not be scheduled if the Centre is closed for a statutory holiday. A doctor’s note may be required for cancellations due to child illness.
Guests will be permitted to attend a visit only if it is stated in the court order. All guests must contact the Centre in advance to arrange an appointment to fill out the necessary paperwork. Guests must also contact the office at least 24-hours prior to a scheduled visit to see if we can accommodate them to attend.
Meals & Snacks
When visits are scheduled over meal times, the Access Parent is responsible for supplying appropriate meals for the child/children. It is the responsibility of the Decision Making Parent/Guardian to inform staff of the child/children’s regular meal times, types of food the child prefers or requires, or if there are any food allergies.
Nuts, peanut butter & peanut butter bi-products are NOT allowed in the Centre due to severe allergies.
The Decision Making Parent/Guardian is advised to contact staff with regards to any life sustaining medication that must be administered during the visits or exchanges. The Decision Making Parent/Guardian must provide written consent allowing the Access Parent permission to administer the medication when necessary.
Staff will monitor all washroom visits in which children must be assisted. The washroom door is locked at all times unless a monitored washroom visit is taking place.
Cameras, Cell phones & Electronic Equipment
Digital cameras and 35 mm cameras are permitted at the Centre. Video recording equipment is not permitted. Only staff are permitted to take pictures.
Cell phones are not permitted in the visit room. If you bring a cell phone, it must be turned off and left at the front desk or out of the visit area.
Electronic devices (i.e., portable computers, hand-held gaming systems, etc) are not permitted in the visit room.
It is expected that clients do not discourage the child/children from visits, speak harshly about the other parent in front of the child/children or otherwise sabotage this opportunity for healthy parent-child contact. Clients are not to question the child about the other parent or other people in his/her life. Demeaning the other parent or the child will not be allowed at any time. In the best interest of the child, clients are to avoid discussing court, custody or access issues at all times. Clients are expected to keep all conversation in the present.
The use of swearing, threats or acts of physical aggression will not be tolerated at any time. Physical punishment is not permitted at any time.
Any threat of physical violence will not be tolerated and may result in suspension from the program. Any act of physical violence will result in termination from the program.
Clients are to be polite and refrain from shouting, rudeness and swearing. Failure to do so may result in suspension from the Program pending review by the Executive Director.
Alcohol or drug use prior to or during the visit will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate termination of the visit or exchange.
No child is released at any time to any person thought to have consumed alcohol or non-prescription drugs. In the case of the Access Parent, the visit or exchange will be cancelled and no make-up will be given. In the case of the Decision Making Parent/Guardian, the Centre will call an emergency contact to pick up the child/children. In both cases, the incident will be documented and staff will inform the other party of the incident and any lawyers (if retained).
If we even suspect you have been using alcohol or drugs, we have the right to terminate the visit or exchange.
For accidents not requiring medical attention, Dalhousie Place staff will:
Treat the injury superficially;
Apply first aid if needed;
Provide comfort for the child.
Staff will notify the Decision Making Parent/Guardian about the accident on the day that it occurred.
Staff are not to be used a messengers for either party. We are not lawyers, counsellors or agents of either party. Any concerns unrelated to supervised access should be directed to your lawyers.
Access visits and exchanges are monitored. Any observations recorded are objective and are of the parent/child interaction. We do not make assessments.
Loitering on or around Dalhousie Place premises is not permitted. All clients must leave the area immediately once the visit is over or the child/children has been dropped off. Clients are not to be within a 3 block radius of Dalhousie Place before or after designated times.
Breach of a Court Order
Any lawyers retained will be informed of any breach of a court order relating to a visit or exchange at Dalhousie Place.
Breach of a Policy
All clients must sign an Agreement for Service prior to access services commencing. Information provided here is general information only and in no way constitutes the Dalhousie Place Supervised Access Program policies and procedures in their entirety.
Please be aware that any failure to follow staff directions or abide by the program policies may result in the immediate cancellation or termination of services.