Visitation Center for Children in Foster Care

Visitation Center for Children in Foster Care

What problem does it solve? It solves the overtime issue with DCP&P staff. It provides a home like friendlier environment as opposed to having a visit in the office, trained people would be available to supervise and also coach the parents, making each visit more meaningful. A center would offer longer and progressive visits. Children would not have be taken out of school early to visit with their parents. What is your solution and who does it apply to? This applies to DCP&P workers and families. A huge benefit for a visitation center is the homelike setting it can provide where families are able to make a meal together, play games in a living room, and even play outside during the summer time. Families would have the opportunity to have longer visits as well as progressive visits. This would hugely impact babies removed from their parents as their beginning months are the most crucial bonding time. The center would have staff to supervise as well as provide parenting tips and education as the visit is happening. What is the anticipated impact? The anticipated impact is that there would be a significant decrease in overtime for DCP&P staff working late and doing visits on the weekends. Case managers would be able to do more casework as opposed to sitting and supervising a visit. I strongly believe this is a more efficient way to spend the current funding already used for transportation drivers, supervisors, parenting programs and our current overbooked visitation programs..

Points

I have thought this for years! It would be great to have a space that has a play ground/outside area, a kitchen area where families can cook a meal and eat together, and an overall more home-like environment. It would also be great to have parenting coaches and therapists on staff, and not contract out with other service providers, not only to save money, but also to help with court-ordered services in order to facilitate reunification.

Having a "home like" center for visitation is a wonderful idea; removing the stigma & embarrassment kids may feel when visiting in a state visitation room. Soft, tender connections between parents & children are difficult to create when they sit on cold, plastic chairs and play on cold, tile flooring. The idea of parents & kids working together to prepare comforting meals during visits is progressive and may increase a child's connection with their culture, heritage, and family traditions.

This idea would also result in children returning home sooner, saving money spent on maintaining children in out of home placement.

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