Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV)

About This Program

Target Population: Families with children ages birth to 18-years-old who are receiving co-occurring services (such as families with children in out-of-home placement who are referred through the Family Courts to therapeutic intervention and facilitated visitation) from the local department of Social Services or Kinship Caretakers

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 18

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 18

Program Overview

Commitment to enhancing visitation opportunities for children and families led to the development of the TFV program. The focus is on the family's strengths and resiliency' and the ultimate goal is reunification and permanency. TFV is designed to create, maintain, and strengthen family relationships, with the goal of enhancing a child's well-being and lessening the impact of separation.

The duration and number of visits per week is determined by Family Courts, however all program visits include 15-minute previsit and postvisit sessions. During these times, the parent and caseworker plan a healthy, family-focused visit beforehand, and afterwards discuss areas of strength, concern, and next steps. The visit is closely monitored at all times; yet the program allows for an evolution from the structured, agency-based environment to community activities, and ultimately a home environment, as deemed appropriate.

Program Goals

The goals of Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV) are:

  • Provide a safe, welcoming environment to hasten the reunification process
  • Increase parent/child bonding
  • Increase knowledge of appropriate parenting skills and capability to provide for children's needs
  • Provide references and link families to additional services when necessary to meet children's special physical and mental needs

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV).

Essential Components

The essential components of Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV) include:

  • An Intake Coordinator of Preventive Services receives all relevant information about the persons being referred for service. Within 24 hours, a decision to accept or reject the request for services is made and returned to the referring agency.
  • Upon acceptance of a referral, a Visitation Specialist will strive to conduct a face-to-face interview and/or orientation with the family within 48 hours, whenever possible.
  • During intake and orientation, children are interviewed separately from the visiting parents. Parents are interviewed separately and, when deemed appropriate and without any safety or legal ramifications, conjointly.
  • A routine assessment of family violence and child abuse/maltreatment is completed and the expectations of all involved, including the Visitation Specialist, are clearly outlined.
  • The assessment process begins at the point of intake and continues throughout the length of service.
    • The North Carolina Family Assessment Scale is completed during intake to gather preprogram data and again at discharge as a posttest.
  • The TFV program has multiple visitation rooms in order to meet the high demand for visitation services.
  • Visitation rooms provide a safe, bright atmosphere, designed to resemble a comfortable, family room setting with a mini-kitchen set-up (including a sink, microwave, and toaster oven) and access to a full service kitchen instead of a cold, impersonal conference room.
    • This set up allows for practical skill building surrounding activities of daily living as well as a natural setting for parents to practice managing multiple tasks (e.g., preparing meals, structuring the environment, managing children's homework completion, enhancing family bonding, etc.)
    • A security camera mounted in all visitation rooms offers additional supervision and security.
  • Importance is placed on providing developmentally appropriate opportunities to older youth as well as the value of opportunities for parent-youth connection. The TFV program setting offers outdoor areas for families to engage in sports activities and encourage teen/parent communication.
  • Each visit includes a previsit and postvisit counseling session to allow the Visitation Specialist an opportunity to work on identified goals, address treatment plans, and provide feedback to the client.
  • Transportation assistance is offered to ensure that a lack of car or access to public transit are not barriers to a family meeting their goal.
  • All staff, from caseworkers to security personnel, are trained in Solution-Focused Trauma-Informed Care.

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • History of abuse and neglect, issues of parent/child bonding, development levels and milestones not appropriately met

Parent/Caregiver Services

Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Lack of appropriate parenting skills, lack of stable housing, domestic violence
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Extensive assessments are conducted with families with the goal of delivering the highest level of care. Based on these strength-based assessments, the Caseworker refers and links family members to community resources for needed services. Particular attention is given to assessing each family member's trauma history and the impact of it on their various life domains.In an attempt to promote positive parenting and family connectedness, the TFV program encourages multigenerational family celebrations and fathers fathering their children. Therapeutic activities are encouraged and provided to foster family communication, memories, and positive interaction.

Recommended Intensity:

At minimum, visitation occurs once per week for a 1-hour session. Younger children will have more frequent visitations. The number of contacts and length of each contact is predetermined by the Family Court.

Recommended Duration:

6-12 months

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Daily Living Setting
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV) includes a homework component:

No formal homework is required, however reading material is provided to parents based on needs shown during visitation.


Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV) does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Appropriately appointed, family visitation room
    • Bright, comfortable, "family room" setting
    • Audio and video surveillance to record each visitation session
    • Age and developmentally appropriate games, books, toys, and crafts to be used during visitation
    • Healthy foods and ingredients, enables parents to learn to cook and plan a meal
  • Personnel
    • Program Director
    • Program Supervisors
    • Visitation Specialist
    • Intake Coordinator
    • Transportation Aides
    • State licensed security officer
  • Safety and Security Measures
    • Secure facility requires clients to be buzzed into the building
    • Multiple entrances to facilitate monitored exchange and accommodate for orders of protection
    • Uniformed security officers

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Director of Preventive Services

  • Education: Master's degree in a clinical discipline
  • Experience: Three years administrative and supervisory

Supervisor of Preventive Services

  • Education: Master's degree in a clinical discipline
  • Experience: Five years clinical experience with families and/or supervisory experience

Visitation Specialists

  • Education: Master's degree in a clinical discipline
  • Experience: Minimum two years clinical experience with families

Intake Coordinator

  • Education: Bachelor's degree in human services
  • Experience: Two years related experience

Several background checks prior to an offer of employment being extended should be passed. Additionally, Visitation Specialists must attend a minimum of 15 hours of training per calendar year. Topics may include training in various areas of child welfare, home-based family preservation, behavioral management and crisis de-escalation, life skills training, and many others.

Manual Information

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

Training Information

There is not training available for this program.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV).

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation (TFV).

Contact Information

Michelle Federowicz, MSW
Title: Vice President of Foster Care & Preventive Services, Gateway Longview
Phone: (716) 783-3187
Fax: (716) 883-0645

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: November 2016