With the current statistics of families facing divorce and crisis, there is a growing demand for community assistance to help these families. While most people are aware of the need for shelters and transitional housing to help families escape abusive situations, there is a lesser awareness of the need for family centers. These places are there to service families as they navigate divorced parenting. Family centers provide a valuable service to an undeserved population and their presence is very helpful in the lives of families struggling with abuse or neglect as they are mandated to continue to co-parent their children. |
Many people want to do something to improve their community and the lives of those families touched by abuse. Imagine being ordered by a family court to take your children to see your ex-spouse, who was abusive to you (and possibly the children as well) while maintaining everyone’s safety. This is a position in which several families face and there are difficult answers. Being able to have these visits supervised by trained professionals can allow parents to interact with their children in a safe place for all.
Those people wanting to establish a child visitation center should check to see if such a place exists in their community. They may begin by learning to become a visitation supervisor themselves. County human services agencies often have programs that supervise parental visits. These programs can feel like a life saver for families in crisis. Most of the time, a parent is lacking in skills and needs time to rebuild a relationship or work with parenting coaches to establish good parenting behaviors. Supervisors simply are like flies on the wall, recording the interactions that occur between parents and their children, watching for anything that seems dangerous.
After receiving training and deciding that opening a child visitation center is the thing that you want to do, you will need to secure a location, meet zoning requirements, receive funding (through fundraisers or grants) and begin to find equipment and staff to work at your location. You may need to obtain various licenses or certifications depending on your city, county and state laws.
When you are putting together funding, there is a growing trend of social funding options, called crowd funding, which you might try. These projects are run by independent companies and use social media to raise awareness. Some projects which you might start campaigns for crowd funding might include: buying toys and equipments, purchasing computers or human services software programs, creating training classes for community leaders on the hazards of child abuse, or new furnishings for your center.
Opening a family center is a huge outlaying of time and effort and can bring huge dividends in making your community a better and safer place for families.
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