WHAT ARE SUPERVISED ACCESS RIGHTS?
Services for supervised access rights are used by parents and children following a court order (Superior Court or the Court of Québec – Youth Division, Criminal and Penal Division) issued under the Youth Protection Act or by agreement between both parents, when the right of access to a child is interrupted or difficult, leads to conflict, or poses a safety risk.
Two main types of services are available:
- A supervised visit allows a child and their parent (or third party) to meet in a neutral and safe environment, under the supervision of a qualified worker who protects the child’s physical and/or psychological well-being. Although this type of visit usually takes place under constant supervision, some orders prescribe partial supervision, e.g., at the beginning and end of the visit.
- A supervised custody exchange allows the child to transition from one family environment to another, supervised by a qualified worker.
Some resources also offer supervised outings, supervised telephone calls, supervised video conferencing or supervised written correspondence. Contact a resource for more information about the services they offer.
Services for supervised access rights are most often offered to parents and their children, but may also be used by third parties such as grandparents and siblings.
The goal of these services is to allow children and parents to maintain their relationship, or to establish or re-establish contact in a safe and neutral setting when there is no other appropriate or safe solution in the child’s environment. The service may also seek to prevent the child from witnessing serious parental conflict.
The core of the services for supervised access rights is rooted in a vision shared by the workers on the front lines, and is based on a few principles:
- the child must have access to each parent, without risk to their safety or that of either parent;
- each parent has a duty to exercise their parental obligations, and will thereby have access to the child in accordance with his or her ability to care for the child. Whether or not the parent has custody of the child, each parent will act in accordance with the orders issued or the agreements signed with the other parent;
- the child will not be placed in a situation where they are cut off from one of their parents or relatives due to serious conflict, domestic violence or various other circumstances, and will not be held hostage or be placed at the centre of such a situation;
- the child is entitled to have a relationship with both parents, building their own image of each of them and benefiting from their affection and skills;
- the child is guaranteed they will not be abused, bullied, or exposed to conditions that would jeopardize their well-being, safety or development.
FIND A RESOURCE
Make a request
A request for service can be made by a parent or by referral. To do so, you can contact the resource in your area directly.