Getting the Visits You Need- Your rights to visiting and staying in touch with your children.

• Your visits should be unsupervised unless the agency has a reason to supervise the visits. Visits should only be supervised if necessary to protect your child, to prevent your child’s court testimony
from being influenced, or if a court orders the supervision. The agency can supervise some visits to assess your fam- ily interactions, but it does not have to supervise them all.

• If visits are supervised, the least amount of supervision necessary should be used. Unless your child is at serious risk of harm, the agency should not interfere with your contact with your child, even during a supervised visit.

• You should be able to visit your children during their ordinary activities, such as at hair cuts, doctor or dentist appointments, sports games, shopping, and school plays.

• The agency should help you arrange other contact with your children, including phone calls and letters between visits.

• The agency also has the authority to increase your visits or change your visits from supervised to unsupervised without ACS approval. Waiting for ACS approval should NEVER be a reason to postpone either an increase in visits or a change to unsupervised visits.

• The agency cannot decrease your number of visits without a court order or your writ- ten consent.

• If your children are not placed in the same foster home, they have the
right to visit with each other at least once every other week. The agency should also try to arrange visits with other people who are important to your children, even if those people are not relatives. Tell the agency about people you think your children would want to visit. Your children can also tell the case planner.

• Your visits should increase as you prepare for your children to return home. Visits should progress from weekly two hour vis- its to more frequent and longer visits, to day-long visits, to overnight and weekend visits, then to trial discharge and lastly, final discharge of your children. If the agency does not increase your visits during a six-
month period, you should ask your case planner why that is.

• Your visiting plan should be reviewed at every Service Plan Review
(SPR). That’s an impor- tant time to ask for more visits with your children and for an explanation if the visits are not increased.

• You have the right to visit with your children even if the agency changes your children’s perma- nency goal to adoption. You have the right to visit with your until your parental rights are ter- minated. It will be very difficult, however, to have the visits increased during this time.

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