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 California Rules of Court Standard 5.20 

2020 California Rules of Court

Standard 5.20. Uniform standards of practice for providers of supervised visitation

(a) Scope of service
This standard defines the standards of practice, including duties and obligations, for providers of supervised visitation under Family Code sections 3200 and 3200.5. Unless specified otherwise, the standards of practice are designed to apply to all providers of supervised visitation, whether the provider is a friend, relative, paid independent contractor, employee, intern, or volunteer operating independently or through a supervised visitation center or agency. The goal of these standards of practice is to assure the safety and welfare of the child, adults, and providers of supervised visitation. 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. Each court is encouraged to adopt local court rules necessary to implement these standards of practice.
(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2015; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Definition
Family Code section 3200 defines the term "provider" as including any individual or supervised visitation center that monitors visitation. Supervised visitation is contact between a noncustodial party and one or more children in the presence of a neutral third person.
(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2015; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Type of provider
Who provides the supervision and the manner in which supervision is provided depends on different factors, including local resources, the financial situation of the parties, and the degree of risk in each case. While the court makes the final decision as to the manner in which supervision is provided and any terms or conditions, the court may consider recommendations by the attorney for the child, the parties and their attorneys, Family Court Services staff, evaluators, and therapists. As specified in Family Code section 3200.5, 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 must consider whether to use a professional or nonprofessional provider based on the child's best interest.
(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2015; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Qualifications of nonprofessional providers
(1)  A "nonprofessional provider" is 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 must:
    (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; and
    (d)  Agree to adhere to and enforce the court order regarding supervised visitation.

(2)  Unless otherwise ordered by the court or stipulated by the parties, the nonprofessional provider should:
    (a)  Be 21 years of age or older;
    (b)  Have no record of conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) within the last 5 years;
    (c)  Not have been on probation or parole for the last 10 years;
    (d)  Have no civil, criminal, or juvenile restraining orders within the last 10 years; and
    (e)  Not be financially dependent on the person being supervised.
(Subd (d) relettered and amended effective January 1, 2015; adopted as part of subd (c).)

(e) Qualifications of professional providers
A "professional provider" is 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 must:
    (1)  Be 21 years of age or older;
    (2)  Have no record of conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) within the last 5 years;
    (3)  Not have been on probation or parole for the last 10 years;
    (4)  Have no record of a conviction for child molestation, child abuse, or other crimes against a person;
    (5)  Have proof of automobile insurance if transporting the child;
    (6)  Have no civil, criminal, or juvenile restraining orders within the last 10 years;
    (7)  Have no current or past court order in which the provider is the person being supervised;
    (8)  Be able to speak the language of the party being supervised and of the child, or the provider must provide a    neutral interpreter over the age of 18 who is able to do so;
    (9)  Agree to adhere to and enforce the court order regarding supervised visitation;
   (10)  Meet the training requirements stated in (f); and
   (11)  Sign a declaration or Declaration of Supervised Visitation Provider (form FL-324) stating that all requirements to be a professional provider have been met.
(Subd (e) relettered and amended effective January 1, 2015; adopted as part of subd (c).)

(f) Training for providers
    (1)  Each court is encouraged to make available to all providers informational materials about the role of a provider, the terms and conditions of supervised visitation, and the legal responsibilities and obligations of a provider under this standard.
    (2)  In addition, professional providers must receive 24 hours of training that includes the following subjects:
          (A)  The role of a professional provider;
          (B)  Child abuse reporting laws;
          (C)  Record-keeping 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; and
          (K)  Basic knowledge of family and juvenile law.
(Subd (f) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2015; adopted as subd (d) effective January 1, 2007.)

(g) Safety and security procedures
All providers must make every reasonable effort to assure the safety and welfare of the child and adults during the visitation. Professional providers should establish a written protocol, with the assistance of the local law enforcement agency, that describes the emergency assistance and responses that can be expected from the local law enforcement agency. In addition, the professional provider should:
    (1)  Establish and state in writing minimum security procedures and inform the parties of these procedures before the commencement of supervised visitation;
    (2)  Conduct comprehensive intake and screening to understand the nature and degree of risk for each case. The procedures for intake should include separate interviews with the parties before the first visit. During the interview, the provider should obtain identifying information and explain the reasons for temporary suspension or termination of a visit under this standard. If the child is of sufficient age and capacity, the provider should include the child in part of the intake or orientation process. Any discussion should be presented to the child in a manner appropriate to the child's developmental stage;
    (3)  Obtain during the intake process:
         (A)  Copies of any protective order;
         (B)  Current court orders;
         (C)  Any Judicial Council form relating to supervised visitation orders;
         (D)  A report of any written records of allegations of domestic violence or abuse; and
         (E)  An account of the child's health needs if the child has a chronic health condition; and
    (4)  Establish written procedures that must be followed in the event a child is abducted during supervised visitation.  (Subd (g) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2015; adopted as subd (d) effective January 1, 1998; previously amended and relettered as subd (e) effective January 1, 2007.)

(h) Ratio of children to provider
The ratio of children to a professional provider must 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, as provided in the court order, visiting the child during the visit;
    (5)  The duration and location of the visit; and
    (6)  The experience of the provider.
(Subd (h) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2015; adopted as subd (e) effective January 1, 1998; previously amended and relettered as subd (f) effective January 1, 2007.)