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)