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 Administrative Office of the Courts 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 Application (RFA) for Fiscal Year 2014-2015

The Judicial Council at its meeting on December 13, 2013, approved the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee recommendation for one year continuation funding for fiscal year 2014-2015 for those Access to Visitation Grant programs currently funded under the allocation methodology approved for FY 2013-2014. The Request for Application (RFA) Grant Application for Fiscal Year 2014–2015 will be for one-year of funding (i.e., April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015). Subject to the availability of federal funds, approximately $775,000 to $770,000 in federal grant funds will be allocated for statewide distribution to eligible continuation courts. Additionally, the Judicial Council approved at their December 13, 2013 meeting, an extension of time for one year for the Access to Visitation Funding Working Group to develop a long term proposal for grant funding methodology options for FY 2015-2016 and beyond. The Council also directed the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee to circulate the working group’s proposed funding methodology to the courts for comment and to forward the Committee’s recommendation to the Council for review at the April 2014 Judicial Council meeting.

A Letter of Intent for continuation funding needs to be submitted by e-mail to the AOC/CFCC by 5 p.m., Thursday, January 9, 2014. Please email Letter of Intent to shelly.labotte@jud.ca.gov.  Submit completed applications and hard copies to the AOC/CFCC office (not post marked) by 5 p.m., Friday, January 17, 2014.

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

 

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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