Access to Visitation

Access to Visitation Grant Program

The Judicial Council is charged with administering and distributing California's share of the federal Child Access and Visitation Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement.

These grants, established under section 391 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Pub.L. 104–193, 110 Stat. 2258)—title III, section 469B of the Social Security Act—enable states to establish and administer programs that support and facilitate noncustodial parents' access to and visitation with their children.

The use of the funds in California is limited by state statute to three types of programs:

  • Supervised visitation and exchange services;
  • Education about protecting children during family disruption; and
  • Group counseling services for parents and children.


Background

Program Administration
The Judicial Council is charged with administering the federal Child Access and Visitation Grant Program. The grant program also receives guidance from the Judicial Council’s Executive and Planning Committee and the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee, the state Legislature, and the federal Administration for Children and Families. The Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) has primary responsibility for administering and managing the grant program.

Eligibility
Under California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program, grant funding is awarded to the family law division of the superior courts through a statewide request-for-proposals grant application process. Applicants are strongly encouraged to involve multiple courts and counties in their proposed programs and to designate one court as the lead or administering court. While the superior courts may contract with local community-based nonprofit agencies to provide the direct services on behalf of the court, contract agreements are made only with the designated superior court. Grant funds may be used to expand or augment existing programs but funds may not be used to supplant existing funding for those programs.

Program Monitoring
States are required to monitor, evaluate, and report on programs funded through the grant—on an annual basis—in accordance with regulations prescribed the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (45 C.F.R. 303.109). California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program monitoring of grantee programs draws on multiple sources and methods, with feedback from the courts, clients, community stakeholders, and service providers at the local, regional, and state levels. Methods also include site visits, questionnaires, focus group and roundtable meetings, and data collection and document analysis. Many of the grantees use client feedback surveys and questionnaires to assess their own service delivery. Additionally, grant recipients are required to submit monthly statistical data reports and quarterly progress summary reports.

RFP Information

California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP) for Fiscal Years 2015-2016 through 2017-2018

Subject to the availability of federal funds, the Judicial Council of California, Judicial and Court Operations Services Division, Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC), is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program for fiscal years 2015–2016 through 2017–2018. 

The Judicial Council at its meeting on April 25, 2014, approved the following new funding allocation methodology under California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program: Conduct an open request for proposals (RFP) process for the superior courts to apply for federal fiscal year funding and those courts selected by the Judicial Council for grant funding will receive continuation grant funding for three years (from federal fiscal years 2015–2016 through 2017–2018). The RFP process will open up again in federal fiscal year 2018–2019 for another three-year period, with a permanent open RFP process repeating every three years and grant funding provided to the selected courts for a three-year period. Subject to the availability of federal funds, approximately $755,000 to $770,000 will be awarded statewide.

The Judicial Council approved a new funding allocation methodology for California’s Access to Visitation Program, effective federal fiscal year 2015–2016. To review the six approved recommendations, please see the Judicial Council report.  

Due Dates:
1) Applicants' Teleconferences:  July 30, 2014 and August 7, 2014 (See RFP grant application)
2) Letter of Intent:  A nonbinding Letter of Intent should be submitted by e-mail by 5 p.m., Friday, August 22, 2014.
3) RFP Grant Application Proposals:  Completed applications must be received by e-mail by 5 p.m., Friday, September 12, 2014.

Letter of Intent: Courts interested in applying for grant funding, should submit a Letter of Intent by e-mail to Shelly La Botte; by 5. p.m. of Friday, August 22, 2014.

Applicants’ Teleconferences: Two teleconferences will be offered for potential applicants (see RFP application for details). All courts planning to submit a proposal will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding this RFP and grant program requirements.  The court and interested collaborative partners, including potential local subcontractors must register for the applicants’ teleconference.  Register here. 

The applicants’ teleconferences are scheduled for add (select only one):
1. Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 10–11:30 a.m., and 3:00–4:30 p.m.
2. Thursday, August 7, 2014, from 9:00–10:30 a.m., and 3:00–4:30 p.m.
Participants should dial the following call-in numbers for both dates and times:  
1-877-820-7831 or 1-720-279-0026. Participants should enter the following pass code: 170662 followed by # sign.
Questions for the applicants’ teleconferences should be e-mailed to Shelly La Botte by 5 p.m. of July 29th and 5 p.m. of August 6th.

RFP Grant Application Proposals: E-mail complete set of the grant application proposal to Shelly La Botte by 5 p.m., Friday, September 12, 2014.

Contact: Please send questions or inquires about the RFP grant application process or the grant program to Shelly La Botte, shelly.labotte@jud.ca.gov

RFP Materials

  1. Memo to the Court 
  2. RFP Grant Application for Fiscal Years 2015–2016 through 2017–2018 | Abridged, Section 7.0 (Proposal Narrative)
  3. RFP Appendixes A-C      Appendix A (Letter of Intent)   |  Appendix B (Cover Page)   |  Appendix C (Budget Forms)
  4. Sample Budget Form and Narrative 
  5. Attachment 1 - Courts Eligible Grant Amount (Lists of superior courts and grant amount eligibility.)

 

Questions and Answers from the RFP Applicant's Teleconferences

RFP Grant Applicants Teleconference Questions and Responses

The following questions and answers are from the July 30, 2014 (both sessions) and August 7, 2014 (both sessions) Access to Visitation Grant Program RFP Grant Applicants Teleconference calls for Fiscal Years 2015–2016 through 2017–2018 funding. The RFP Grant Application Questions and Responses are set forth in categories to help facilitate the applicants review and completion of the grant application proposal. 

To ensure a fair process, applicants are reminded that communications regarding the RFP grant application after closure of the applicant’s teleconference calls must be submitted by e-mail to shelly.labotte@jud.ca.gov. Telephone assistance cannot be provided. Additionally, Access to Visitation Grant Program staff will post applicant questions (and staff responses) every Thursday (after 5 p.m.), beginning August 12, 2014, through August 28, 2014. 

View and download complete questions and answers from July 30 through August 12th. 

View and download complete questions and answers from August 12 through August 21st. 

Publications and Reports

Legislative Reports

Report to the Legislature on the programs funded and whether and to what extent those programs are achieving the goal of promoting and encouraging healthy parent and child relationships between non-custodial or joint custodial parents and their children while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of children, and other goals described in this chapter.

Legislative Report 1
California's Access to Visitation Grant Program for Enhancing Responsibility and Opportunity for Nonresidential Parents-The First Five Years: Report to the Legislature 
(March 2002).

Legislative Report 2
A Report to the California Legislature: California's Access to Visitation Grant Program for Enhancing Responsibility and Opportunity for Nonresidential Parents Fiscal Year 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 (February 28, 2003).

Legislative Report 3
California's Access to Visitation Grant Program: Fiscal Year 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 (March 2004).

Legislative Report 4
California's Access to Visitation Grant Program: Fiscal Years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 (March 2005).

Legislative Report 5
California's Access to Visitation Grant Program: Fiscal Years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 (March 2006).

Legislative Report 6
California's Access to Visitation Program: Fiscal Year 2005-2006 (July 2007).

Legislative Report 7
Ten Years of Access to Visitation Grant Program Services (Fiscal Years 1997-2007) (March 2008).

Legislative Report 8
California's Access to Visitation Grant Program (Fiscal Year 2009-2010) (March 2010).

Legislative Report 9
California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program for Fiscal Years 2010–2011 and 2011–2012  (March 2012)

Legislative Report 10
California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program (Fiscal Years 2012–2013 and 2013–2014), as required by Government Code section 9795  (March)

Research & Publication

Supervised Visitation - An Annotated Bibliography

A Guide for the Non-Professional Provider of Supervised Visitation (English)

A Guide for the Non-Professional Provider of Supervised Visitation (Spanish)

Supervised Visitation and You (English)

Supervised Visitation and You (Spanish)

California's Access to Visitation Grant Program - Directory of Supervised Visitation Agencies

 

Standard 5.20 and Family Code Section 3200.5

Standard 5.20
In 1998, the Judicial Council adopted standards for supervised visitation providers. Family Code section 3200 defines the term “provider” as including any individual or supervised visitation center that monitors visitation. Supervised visitation contact is contact between a noncustodial party and one or more children in the presence of a neutral third person.

All supervised visitation and exchange programs funded by California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program must comply with all requirements of the Uniform Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation as set forth in Standard 5.20 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration. 

Family Code section 3200.5
Effective January 1, 2013, Assembly Bill 1674 (Stats. 2012, ch. 692) added Section 3200.5 to the Family Code, relating to qualifications and training for supervised visitation providers. Family Code section 3200.5(a) requires that any standards for supervised visitation providers adopted by the Judicial Council to conform to the new provisions of  the bill (i.e., Standard 5.20 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration). In 1997, Family Code section 3200 required the Judicial Council to develop standards for supervised visitation providers. The Judicial Council adopted, effective January 1, 1998, the Uniform Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation as section 26.2 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration. Section 26.2 was changed (superseded), effective January 1, 2007, and became Standard 5.20. Family Code section 3200.5 codified, in part, some of the existing provisions under Standard 5.20 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration.

Training Information

Trainings and Education Events for 2014

 

Training Date  Training Description  Registration Information
 Feb 2014   CASVP Annual Training Institute (this will be a two-day conference event, with a pre-institute on day one) (TBD)  Register with CASVSP
     

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