DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 10: Contacts and Visitation
10-5.2 Chapter Title
Contacts and Visitation
10-5.2: DFCS Supervised Visitation Policy on Missed Visits and Rescheduling Missed Visits
Reference Points
Missed Supervised Visits
Redeveloping Visitation Arrangements
Additional Conditions That May Apply when Visitation Plans Must Be Redeveloped

Reference Points
Effective Date: 9/1/10
Last Updated: 11/24/14
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Legal Basis Text
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Social Worker I Referral (SCZ20)
MS Word Request to Change a Court Order (JV-180)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Services Management Section: Contact Notebook


For supervised visitation, social workers are responsible for arranging the visiting schedule, the venue, and the person to supervise the visit. To ensure that standards are applied equitably to all DFCS clients, policy has been developed regarding missed visits and rescheduling missed visits.  

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There are times when a scheduled visit does not occur.  This may happen due to the parents having an unforeseen problem or the caregiver not bringing the child to the visit because the child is sick.  If a DFCS visitation site is used for visits, it is the responsibility of the primary social worker to inform DFCS visitation site staff as soon as possible of a cancellation of a visit or interruption of ongoing visitation.

If the visit is being cancelled by the parent, foster parent or other substitute care provider, whoever receives the call is to notify the primary social worker. The primary social worker is responsible to notify all parties if the visit is being cancelled. 

If the reason for a visit not occurring is due to unforeseen circumstances, the social worker reschedules the visit. Social workers should consult with their supervisors, if they are unclear as to how to assess the parents’ or caregiver’s reason for missing a visit. The Social worker is responsible for arranging the make-up visit.

If a parent misses three consecutive visits, the social worker may notify the caregiver that the next supervised visit will not be scheduled until the social worker has had an opportunity to contact the parent about the missed visit.   The social worker should contact the parent as soon as possible to discuss the visitation schedule, the court orders regarding visitation, and the importance of visitation for the child.  Consecutively missed visits may require the redevelopment of the visitation agreement between the parent and DFCS. 

All makeup visits are subject to staff availability.  The social worker will need to make a new referral once they have met with the parent. 

If the parent cannot be contacted within two (2) weeks of the last visit that occurred, the social worker may submit a Request to Change a Court Order (JV-180) to the Court to request a change in the court-ordered visitation plan, after consultation with a supervisor and/or county counsel.

For further information see OPP Chapter 8-15: Request to Change a Court Order (JV180)

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Social Workers may consider redeveloping visitation arrangements after:

  • A parent misses three consecutive visits.

  • A parent repeatedly arrives more than 15 minutes late for visits. 
    • The third visit at which the parent arrives late may be considered a failure to show.
    • The three late arrivals do not necessarily have to be consecutive.
  • A parent shows a pattern of inconsistency in participating in visits. 

  • If the parent cancels a visit, the cancellation is expected to be made at least one (1) hour before the visit. 
    • Calls made within the hour of the visiting start time may be considered a failure to show.


If a caregiver cancels two (2) visits, the social worker should discuss the issue with the caregiver, reinforcing the importance of visitation between the child and parents and the caregiver’s responsibility to facilitate visits. 

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Redeveloping Visitation Arrangements  

If ongoing visitation arrangements must be redeveloped with different times and days, the social worker must make new arrangements for use of a DFCS visitation site, if a DFCS site is used for the visits.  The social worker:

  • Calls the DFCS visitation site contact to set up the day(s) and hours for visitation.

  • Completes another Social Worker I Referral (SCZ 20) and submits to the Social Worker I Supervisor within one business day.


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Additional Conditions That May Apply when Visitation Plans Must Be Redeveloped  

Additional conditions for the parent after redevelopment of visitation arrangements may include:

  • A requirement that the parent call the social worker 2 hours prior to the visit to confirm the visit.
  • The filing of a JV180 to change the parent’s court-ordered visits.


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Other References  
PDF OPP 8-15: Request to Change Court Order (JV180)
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