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Sunday, December 21, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

Generally, the court considers that a child has a right to see and have a relationship with the parent who does not have custody. A child has a right to access that parent. When a court orders supervised access, it places some conditions on how the visit may take place, including who will be present.

Why is supervised access/exchange ordered?

Supervised access may be ordered when there are concerns for the child's well-being if access is not supervised. This could include situations where:

  • the child and parent have had no contact for a long time and may need help re-stablishing their relationship;
  • the parent seeking access has limited parenting skills;
  • the parent has a history of abusing drugs or alcohol;
  • the parent has a history of mentally, physically or sexually abusing the child; or
  • there is a risk of the child being abducted by the parent.

 

If there is parental conflict, supervised exchange reduces a child's anxiety at the time of transition from one parent to the other. Where one parent has a restraining order against the other, it facilitates a child's transition from one parent to the other.

What is the Supervised Access/Exchange Program?

The Supervised Access/Exchange Program is a service provided through the Social Work Unit. Social workers and trained observers provide the services necessary to ensure that children have access to their non-custodial parent in a safe setting.

This safe setting can also be used to deliver the children from one parent to the other for visits. The exact service provided depends on the court order and the family's needs.

What are examples of supervised access/exchange services?

  • Supervision of the exchange of the child between parents for a visit. This may involve a supervisor being present at the exchange to make sure the child does not have to see conflict or violence between his or her parents. In other cases, the exchange may be supervised so the parents do not have to see each other.
  • Supervision of the whole visit so the child is never alone with the parent.  

Where can supervised visits take place?

Supervised visits may occur at one of the access centres located in Regina or Saskatoon. A supervisor is present at these centres.

Do parents have a choice as to whether to use the program?

Unless otherwise specified by the court, if there is a supervised access order made, it will be monitored by the program workers according to the terms of the order.

Parents can access Supervised Exchange services by agreement, or by a court order.

Where can I get more information?

To contact the Social Work Unit in Regina call (306) 787-9416 or 1-888-218-2822 toll-free in Saskatchewan. To contact the Saskatoon office call (306) 933-5930 or 1-877-964-5501 toll-free.



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