Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps of getting into service?
Both parties are required to voluntarily contact the Supervised Parenting Time and initiate registration in order to begin the intake process (1-844-373-4515).
Each family will be required to submit relevant documentation to allow us to access your file for service compatibility. Documents can be sent by email, fax or dropped off. These include: Court Order/Endorsement, criminal charges, bail order etc. The faster we receive these documents the faster we process your service request. Either party can submit documents.
The maximum time we will work with families to complete the intake and registration process is 60 days from the date of the 1st caller. After this 60 day period, if documentation is not received or one party has not called in, the file will close. Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances.
Once all documentation is received and both parties have called in, the file is given to the coordinator of the program for them to review. The review is to ensure that our service can accommodate the needs of your family and ensure safety of all participants.
An intake interview will be held virtual, at service locations, or our administrative office. The appointment is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Both parties are given an overview of the program, service rules and regulations and provided information on fees. Discussion on specific concerns can be held at this time.
If all parties are in agreement to adhere to the program requirements and the service plan, they will be asked to sign a service agreement and provide fee payment.
Prior to the first visit or exchange, all parties will be provided with an individual service orientation session held at the service site. This includes the visiting child(ren).
Service commencement occurs after orientation is completed. The coordinator will work with both parties to establish a first visit date and a 60 day service schedule, going forward.
How long until I can see my child(ren)?
It depends on how fast both parties contacting program and submitting required documents, how fast both parties completing intake process, and the service availability. We have had families start service as fast as two weeks, and some as slow as three/four months.
What can I expect at the Supervised Parenting Time Centre?
We recognize that for many, having supervised access can be awkward and invasive. We have limitations on what can be brought into the Centre and the range of activities. Certain conversations are restricted such as questioning any aspect of the separation or other parties. Clients have a very specific schedule based on staggered arrival and departure times to ensure safety for all participants. Families have staff observers who sit close enough to monitor conversation and activities; this will feel uncomfortable at first. Each client is advised of all requirements during the intake interview.
It is a requirement of service that all participants follow the policies outlined in the agreement for service. You can expect that staff intervening in your access visit if policy is being breached. Direction and/or intervention from any/all staffs must be respectfully acknowledged. It is important to be aware that all interaction during your time at the Centre is being observed and recorded by staff.
How does the Supervised Parenting Time program benefit me?
Our program works with both parties to separate the issues of the family conflict from the time spent between parent and child. This is achieved by both parties adhering to program policy and following direction of staff/program coordinator. As time passes, visiting parties value a neutral, child-focused environment and are supported in developing a new, independent parenting relationship that keeps the issues of separation and custody external from the relationship with the child.
It is also important to keep in mind that we are a trusted source for the courts. Our program records factual information from each visitation that is often reviewed by the Family courts. These are referred to as ‘observation notes’. Observation notes present a neutral, unbiased, and factual observation of the interaction between a visiting parent and the child(ren). Many visiting parents have grown to value this time as free from conflict impact.
How does the Supervised Parenting Time program benefit my child(ren)?
The Supervised Parenting Time program is a child-focused program that aims to remain a neutral environment for the wellbeing of the child(ren). The program explicitly restricts ‘adult talk’ (i.e. court, custody, the other parent/party) because children will often feel stressed out when asked about these types of topics. The access Centre is safe place, free of conflict, where the child(ren) can come to spend quality time with the visiting parent without having to ‘take sides’. We have found that children perceive the access Centre to be a stress-free environment.
Once we are in the program, how long are we allowed to stay? Is there an end date?
If your order is time limited and specifies a service end date, we will expect service to conclude at this time. If families return to court and receive a new order, we will extend service in consideration of the terms of the new order. If there is no set termination date, service can continue until;
One or both parties withdraw, the child repeatedly refuses to attend, the child turns 18, the SAP has to reduce or close service due to ministerial policy change, funding or site changes or if demand exceeds service and a rotational wait list is implemented, a participant fails to meet the terms of service, payment is in arrears, or the family has an open investigation with a children’s aid society. Families may also progress to exchange services, as outlined below.
Will I always have to use supervised visitation? When will I have exchanges or unsupervised visitation?
As conflict is resolved or risk concerns are managed, other services are available. Many families will work with the Family Court to adjust orders as appropriate.
In addition to supervised visitation, we offer video visits during the COVID pandemic, ½ day exchange, full day exchange, and overnight one way or two way exchange.
My kids already said they do not want to see him/her, what should I do? I will not force them
This is a reality with a lot of the kids we see in the program. We are a child-focused program and as such, we will never force kids to come in and see their parent or loved one, staff does have to fulfill their due-diligence and we have to make sure that we do our part as a neutral third party. We have a child refusal policy which we can email to you to review.
At the access center, our staff will do their best to try and bring the child inside, even if it’s just for a few minutes to say hello to the other party. It’s important to note that even if your child does not want to come (leave the house or the car), they MUST come at least to the door to tell staff they’re refusing and the reason why they are refusing– and this is very important because even though a visit does not take place, our staff still documents the child refusal, and in order for them to accurately capture everything, they need to speak with the child directly.
Intake worker or program coordinator will explain all of this in more detail with you if/when you get to the intake interview. Also as a registered participants, it’s your responsibility to support and encourage the children to attend the visits.
Why should I provide my psychiatric assessment?
While we understand this may be uncomfortable for you to share, I can assure you this information is kept confidential in your file and nobody has access to it except our staff. Since we are just the neutral third party, it is a mandatory requirement from our funders. If it is applicable, this is a standard document that is requested from all of our clients who come into the service as we need to review all documents for all clients to make sure that everyone who comes into the program meets the eligibility criteria.
CAS never contacted me, why should I provide CAS closure letter?
Our program requires only one copy of each document, so if you do not have a copy, then I can ask the other party for it. However, it may be more time efficient if you try reaching out to CAS and providing your name to see if they can send you the closure letter. This may be faster as we are not able to proceed forward with your file until we get all of the paperwork and get it reviewed.
Can I speak my mother tongue with my children at the access center?
We have some guidelines and restrictions around this for the safety of all participants and staff.
Our policy is that, if there is a language barrier between the child(ren) and the visiting party, then we may arrange for an interpreter to be present throughout the visit, however, this has to be discussed with the program coordinator during the intake interview.
If there is no language barrier between the visiting party and child(ren) then, unfortunately, as per our policy, all participants must speak English when they are on site for their scheduled visit. Our staff is present at each visit to ensure safety and neutrality, and we are not able to accurately capture what is said if we can’t understand what clients are saying. Even though we understand this can be frustrating, we want to make sure that clients are able to go back to court or present their lawyer with accurate visitation notes!
Can I bring parents, family members, or friends to the centre?
Visitors will not be permitted to attend the visit without prior approval of the Program Coordinator or designate. Unless visitors are court ordered, both parents must agree to their attendance. Guests are only to attend every 2nd visit. Due to space restriction, Program can only accommodate a maximum of two (2) guests at a time. Guest attendance for visits is subject to space availability. It is the responsibility of the visiting party to inform all guests of the Program policy prior to the guest attending the Centre. The Centre reserves the right to limit and restrict visitors.
How much does Supervised Parenting Time cost?
Application fee: $150.00
Non Refundable, one-time fee that is paid upon application. Fee must be paid prior to the intake interview. The file will not proceed forward until fee is paid in full.
1 hour: $20.00 | 2 hours: $30.00
There are electronic payment options available. Cash is not accepted on site.
Exchange fee: $15.00
There is one or two way exchange, for ½ day, full day or overnight(s) options. There are electronic payment options available. Cash is not accepted on site.
Fees are also charged for reports/letters and observation notes if requested by a client. A fee schedule is available upon request.
Who pays for these fees?
Sometimes, the family court will outline in an endorsement or court order, which party is responsible for the fees for access. In that case, the person who is named in the endorsement/court order will be responsible for all service fees. If the endorsement or court order does not list any party responsible, or it has not been previously agreed upon, the service fees will be split 50/50 between both parties.
What are my options for payment?
This is the preferred method of payment. Payment will be sent to our Finance department email. The E-transfer instructions will be sent to the parties via email.
Clients may authorize our finance department to take the fees owed for visits/exchanges etc., directly from their bank account. These fees are withdrawn on the 15th day or first business day after the 15th of every month. The ‘payment cycle’ is the first to last day of each month.
Example: Client X pays $30.00 for each visit. Client X had visits on April 23 and April 30 for a total of two (2) visits. Our finance department will take out $60.00 ($30 X 2) from the bank account of Client X on May 15th.
Preauthorized Credit Card
Clients may authorize our finance department to charge their credit card (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express). Each payment for visits or exchanges is charged the same way as pre-authorized bank. See example below:
Example: Client Y pays $30.00 per visit. Client Y had one visit on March 4th. Our finance department will charge the credit card of Client Y on April 15th.
What are your hours of operation?
The York and Peel Region Supervised Access Program only facilitate visitation/exchanges on the weekend. The maximum time we can accommodate for a visit is two hours. The maximum time we can accommodate for a full day exchange is five hours (10:00am – 3:00pm). Please find our hours of operation for each site listed below:
Near Yonge Street & Industrial Parkway
Richmond Hill Site
Near Bayview & Eglin Mills
Hours of Operation:
Sundays: 9:45am – 3:15pm
Hours of Operation:
Sundays: 9:45am – 3:15pm
Airport Rd & Derry Rd E
Hours of Operation:
Sundays: 9:45am – 4:15pm
Hours of Operation:
Fridays: 5:45pm – 7:15pm
Saturdays: 9:45am – 4:15pm