Eckerd Family Visitation Services
The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:
About This Program
Target Population: Families separated by court order due to child abuse or neglect and currently involved in the child welfare system. Parents must be working toward reunification with their child(ren).
For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 17
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17
Eckerd Family Visitation Services is a therapeutic supervised visitation program for parents who, through court order, have been removed from their children due to child abuse or neglect and are working toward reunification. Eckerd Family Visitation Services is specifically targeted at helping parents who lack the parenting skills needed to successfully reunify and prevent their children from re-entering an out-of-home placement. The program is designed to work with families for an average of 6 months and support an integrated succession from visitation in a controlled office setting, to a community setting and eventually to a home setting. During these 6 months, a licensed therapist works with the families on specific skills and supports their individualized needs. Therapists conduct pre/post family assessments and work with the dependency case manager and family to develop individualized treatment goals. Therapists monitor all interaction between the children and parents while providing coaching and mentoring on appropriate parent/child interaction. Staff records all parent-child interactions to the court per court order.
The goals of Eckerd Family Visitation Services are:
- Increase parenting capability
- Increase positive family interaction during visitation
- Increase reunification rates
- Decrease number of children re-entering out-of-home care
The essential components of Eckerd Family Visitation Services include:
- Referrals are received from the local Dependency Court via case managers.
- Referred families are contacted within 24 hours of receipt of referral.
- Intake/Orientation meeting is scheduled with custodial parent/caregiver and child(ren) and noncustodial parent separately.
- Pre and Post North Carolina Family Assessment Scale is conducted by a trained licensed therapist on noncustodial parent and family.
- Treatment goals are developed based on reasons for child removal, court order, and family assessment. The family and case manager are involved in development of goals.
- A safe and supportive environment is provided to allow non-custodial parents to have access to their children. Visits begin at a visitation room in a secure and controlled office setting, then progresses to a community setting and eventually to the non-custodial parent’s home or a home-like setting based on parenting capability and progress of their reunification plan.
- Licensed therapists receive mandatory program training prior to working with families and follow a training schedule for ongoing training and refresher training.
- Trained therapists provide therapeutic visitation and monitor the visits to ensure child safety. A premeeting is set up between the therapist and non-custodial parent prior to each visit to discuss visit goals. During the visit, the therapist assists the parent through role-playing proper parenting skills and provides coaching and mentoring support. After the visit, a meeting is held with the therapist and non-custodial parent to debrief the visit.
- Therapists document all interactions that took place during the visit and report them to the court.
- Program is designed with three phases: The therapist assesses the non-custodial parent’s abilities on a set of standards during each phase. The family does not move on to the next phase until the non-custodial parent demonstrates proper parenting capability in each standard skill within that phase.
- Therapist completes a program structure and process checklist to ensure fidelity for each family.
Eckerd Family Visitation Services directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:
- History of abuse and/or neglect, fear of visiting non-custodial parent, trust/bonding issues
Eckerd Family Visitation Services directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Lack of parenting skills with child exposed to abuse or neglect
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Program revolves around the improvement of parenting and supervision skills. In addition to direct skill building with the parent, other support systems are involved as needed.
Average contact is 2 hours twice per week; flexible per court order
Recommended 4-6 months; flexible per court order
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Community Agency
Eckerd Family Visitation Services includes a homework component:
No formalized homework component, but therapist will encourage practice of skills learned outside of the visits and advanced preparation of the next visit. Parent will also be given community resources to support their needs and encouraged to contact those resources outside of the visits.
Eckerd Family Visitation Services does not have materials available in a language other than English.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
Family visitation room with games and activities
Minimum Provider Qualifications
Practitioner: Licensed Clinical Specialist
- Education – Master-level licensed therapist trained and credentialed in any or all of the following: family therapy, child development, and trauma treatment. Knowledgeable of issues related to children and families served in the child welfare system.
- Experience – Minimum of one year clinical experience in a multidisciplinary treatment setting. Prior experience with child welfare preferred.
- Skills – Clinical, testing, interpersonal, organizational, communication, and evaluative/diagnostic case writing.
- Physical Demands – Must be able to drive within designated service area. May be required to work irregular hours. Must be free of communicable diseases as defined by state and to the extent that knowledge is attainable under the law. Must be in good physical health and be emotionally stable.
- Other – Must meet background screening requirements. Must maintain an appropriate and valid state driver’s license. Must maintain Mental Health licensure.
Supervisor: Family Visitation Supervisor
- Education - Bachelor’s Degree in human services (e.g., psychology, social work, sociology or related field) or education required. An Associate’s Degree and two additional years of related experience may substitute for a Bachelor’s Degree.
- Experience - Three years experience working with youth and families required. Two years supervision experience required. Experience administering a residential or community based program preferred.
- Skills – Supervision, teaching, communication (verbal, written, listening) organizational (prioritizing tasks, maintaining case notes), counseling, child development, documentation, activity planning, motivation, creativity, and data collection.
- Physical Demands - Ability to spend extended periods of time in standing/walking/sitting positions in outdoor and classroom environments. Ability to actively participate with clients in recreational activities. Ability to lift up to 30 pounds. Must be free of communicable diseases as defined by the appropriate state and to the extent that knowledge is attainable under federal law.
- Other - Must have appropriate and valid state driver’s license. Must meet state and EYA criminal background check requirements.
Education and Training Resources
There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.
- Talia Bryant
phone: (321) 735-7249
Training is obtained:
Training is currently only available internally but could be modified for external purposes. Training is conducted through a combination of instructor led and online trainings. A training guideline and schedule exists for this program.
Number of days/hours:
Internal training is conducted throughout the year and involves trainings required to be facilitated within first two weeks of hire (approximately 40 hours of training), 6 months of hire (approximately 6 additional hours of training) and within one year of hire (approximately 20 additional hours of training). External training consultation is available.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Eckerd Family Visitation Services.
No reference materials are currently available for Eckerd Family Visitation Services.
- Stanley Brizz
- Title: Director of Community Services
- Agency/Affiliation: Eckerd
- Website: www.eckerd.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (321) 253-0032
- Fax: (321) 253-0042
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2014
Last CEBC Contact Date: March 2018
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2016
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2012