Strive™ Supervised Visitation Program

About This Program

Target Population: Parents of children birth to eight years of age who have been placed in out-of-home foster or relative care and are visiting with their parents

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 8

Program Overview

The Strive™ Supervised Visitation Program is a manualized parent education and support intervention/prevention program delivered in the context of parent-child visits to enhance parent engagement and the quality of parent-child visits. The program is designed to be delivered by lay visit supervisors who have been trained as Strive Visit Navigators (VN) to use the strengths-based, relationship-focused, trauma-informed and developmentally tailored features of the curriculum. By reaching out to parents early in their visiting experience, ideally before the first visit, the program aims to provide a supportive environment where goals and expectations are clear, a trusted connection with parents is built, and positive parenting practices and skills are developed and/or reinforced. Each parent is assigned their own VN to help prepare them to successfully navigate the often challenging and traumatic parent-child visit experience.

Program Goals

The goals of the Strive™ Supervised Visitation Program are:

  • Increase engagement in visits
  • Enhance the quality of visits with their child
  • Learn the importance of attending visits and being on time
  • Learn how to be more prepared for visits
  • Learn how to use responsive parenting
  • Learn how to create a safe and positive experience during the visit
  • Increase coping skills on how to manage stress during visits
  • Increase communications with resource caregiver about child before and after visits
  • Increase amount and quality of communication with caseworker
  • Establish a good relationship with Visit Navigator and comply with visit rules so as to reduce need for Visit Navigator intervention during visit
  • Increase attendance in visits

Logic Model

View the Logic Model for Strive™ Supervised Visitation Program.

Essential Components

The essential components of the Strive™ Supervised Visitation Program include:

  • A structured, manualized five-week curriculum delivered to parents with children 0-8 years of age in out-of-home care by a Strive Visit Navigator (VN) prior to and during parent-child visits
  • Five one-hour-long Strive sessions delivered each week one-on-one with the parent and the VN. Each session is then followed by a supported supervised visit which allows the parent to practice their new knowledge and skills with their children. The session concludes with a 15 minute one-on-one debrief between the parent and the VN.
  • The five sessions cover topics such as:
    • Understanding parents roles, responsibilities, and opportunities in visits
    • Creating a plan to support successful visits
    • Identifying the feelings their children might be having and how they might express those feelings through their behavior
    • Using strategies for connecting and reassuring that parents can use during visits to respond to their children's upset feelings, behaviors, and needs
    • Recognizing the connection between routines and behavior
    • Creating a visit routine
    • Creating safe and healthy visit environments
    • Identifying how to ensure their children's safety during sleeping, eating, and playing.
    • Monitoring to keep children safe
    • Using effective ways to distract and redirect
    • Learning ignore techniques and how and when to use them
    • Recognizing and celebrating children's behaviors that parents want to encourage
    • Using skills to help communicate effectively with their children and other adults involved in their case
    • Using skills for stress reduction
    • Learning how to allow child-directed play
  • Strive is a versatile program and can be used in a variety of locations such as in a community setting, DCFS Office, and in the birth parent or foster parent home.
  • The following principles guide the development and implementation of the Strive™ Supervised Visitation Program:
    • Strengths-based and focused on parent engagement
    • Trauma-informed
    • Relationship-based and relationship-focused
    • Focused on the development of executive function for children and parents
    • Incorporate the use of coping/calming and mindfulness-based strategies
    • Community-based and community-informed development process that embraces cultural humility
    • Adheres to best practices around adult learning and skill acquisition

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Strive™ Supervised Visitation Program directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parents whose young children (0-8 years of age) are in out-of-home care and may have difficulty in their parent-child interactions during visits, may have difficulty communicating with people involved with their case, controlling their emotions, and understanding and responding to their children's needs
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Children are involved in the supported visit following the Strive sessions when the VN may interact with the parent to support their use of learned skills and activities in visits with their children.

Recommended Intensity:

One one-hour session per week for five weeks, followed by at least an hour supported visit and then a 15-minute debrief. Average length of contact each week is 3 hours and 15 minutes based on a 2-hour visit which can be flexible in length.

Recommended Duration:

5 weeks

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Room for hour-long one-on-one session, visit, and 15-minute debrief. Access to Wifi or ability to access downloaded videos.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

High school diploma or equivalent. Child development knowledge and experience supervising visits are a plus.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

Manual details:

  • Partners for Our Children. (2020). Strive Supervised Family Time navigator guide (10th ed.). University of Washington.

Manual may be accessed by contacting the training contact below.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Onsite, regional can be arranged

Number of days/hours:

16 hours (usually conducted over two nonconsecutive days to allow for homework and practice between the trainings). A third eight-hour day of training is required for trainer of trainers.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Barkan, S., Rankin, L., Skinner, M., Orlando, L., Tajima, E., & Greenley, K. (2024). Strive to enhance supervised family time visits for children in foster care: Outcomes from a pilot study with randomization. Children and Youth Services Review, 160, Article 107531.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 107


  • Age — Mean=29.7 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 91 White, 8 Hispanic/Latino or Spanish, 7 American Indian or Alaskan Native, 5 Black or African American, 3 Asian, and 3 Other
  • Gender — 77 Female and 30 Male
  • Status — Participants we parents involved in the child welfare system who had supervised visits with their children.

Location/Institution: Washington State

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to assess the effects of the Strive Supervised Family Time Program [now called Strive Supervised Visitation Program] on parental engagement, attendance, parenting skills in visits and the quality of the visits among parents involved with the child welfare system. Participants were randomly assigned to either the Strive program or a ‘supervised visitation as usual’ comparison group. Measures utilized include the Strive Activity Checklist, the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), and a questionnaire that assessed parental perceptions of the quality of the family time visit experience. Results indicate that parents in the Strive program were more engaged in and had higher quality parent–child visits. There was no effect on visit attendance. Overall, the Strive program was well received by parents and showed promise in increasing the quality of parent–child visits through parent engagement, support, and skill development in areas associated with safety and attachment, stress management, and communication. Limitations include that they may not have reached those parents with children who have been placed in relative or kinship care where the family time visits are supervised by a family member, the study sample may not be a racially and ethnically representative sample of parents involved with the child welfare system, and data was not available for people who did not have family time visits.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 60 days.

Additional References

Orlando, L., Barkan, S., & Brennan, K. (2019). Designing an evidence-based intervention for parents involved with child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 105, Article 104429.

Contact Information

Laura Orlando
Title: Strive Project Director
Agency/Affiliation: Partners for Our Children/University of Washington School of Social Work
Phone: (206) 543-8250
Emiko Tajima
Title: Associate Professor and Director of Partners for Our Children
Agency/Affiliation: University of Washington School of Social Work
Phone: (206) 221-7874

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2024

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2018