The Children’s Institute Family Visitation Program embodies everything we believe. Namely, that helping kids spend time with their family in a safe, loving environment is good for everyone. Especially the kids.
That’s why, rather than taking a legalistic or judgmental approach to court-ordered supervised visitation, we employ a very family-centric approach.
Helping parents is the first step.
Our caseworkers meet with the parents before our supervised visits begin. We listen to their concerns and we find out what types of information and skills they need, and what they need to practice.
Then, during a supervised visit, acting as a combination coach/role model, we give them the opportunity to learn, develop skills, and practice discipline, communication and child development. After the visit is over, we talk to the parents about what went right and what didn’t, and prepare for the next time.
The best way to practice being home is in a home-like environment.
Frequently, supervised visitation happens in conference room or an office. While that’s a positive step, it doesn’t allow for some of the more organic moments that come from a home environment. That’s why Children’s Institute created the Family Visitation Center.
Located on our Squirrel Hill campus, this facility looks, feels and acts like a real home. This location provides a warm, inviting atmosphere and the chance for natural interactions. There’s also a fully-equipped kitchen, living and dining rooms. Here, families are better able to feel at home, and work on how to be at home.
A program with real staying power.
At the end of the day, reunification doesn’t happen until the caseworkers and courts believe the parents are ready and the child will be safe and nurtured.
That said, 90% of the families who work through our Family Visitation program are reunified. That’s an outstanding number, but it pales in comparison to what that means to countless children and their families.
For more information, please contact Bethany Leas at 412-244-3075 or [email protected].