While children are in out-of-home care, it is important for them to have consistent and quality visits with their caseworkers and families. Caseworkers play an important role in improving outcomes by facilitating effective parent-child visits and by implementing practices that will promote permanency for the children, youth, and families they serve. The following resources offer strategies that help strengthen family visits and enrich efforts toward reunification. Resources include State and local examples.
2013 Report to the Pennsylvania State Roundtable: "Visitation Is a Right, not a Privilege" (PDF - 811 KB)
Office of Children and Families in the Courts (2013)
Provides a report that presents best practices around visits and oversight developed by the Pennsylvania Visitation Workgroup.
Best Practice for Father-Child Visits in the Child Welfare System (PDF - 114 KB)
National Family Preservation Network (2012)
Highlights the importance of father-child visitation in child welfare and recommends best practices for facilitating and promoting these visits.
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections
Offers a collection of reports, curricula, and other resources relevant to visiting between children and birth families.
Family Visitation in Child Welfare: Helping Children Cope With Separation While in Foster Care (PDF - 223 KB)
Partners for Our Children (2011)
Examines best practices regarding visitation while children are in foster care, including factors that support visitation, challenges, and ways that the juvenile court system can support parental visitation.
Making the Most of Visits
McCarty & Blustain (2011)
Includes articles by parents involved with child welfare that demonstrate how they have made visits with their children a special time and describe how to improve visit conditions and supports.
Parent-Child Visitation (PDF - 262 KB)
University of New Mexico, Corinne Wolfe Children's Law Center; Advocacy, Inc.; New Mexico CASA Network; New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department; New Mexico Citizens Review Board; & New Mexico Children's Court Improvement Commission (2011)
Discusses current and best practices for supporting parent-child visitation, the advantages of parent-child visitation, and the roles of various participants.
Supervised Visitation Program
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
Provides information on evidence-based supervised parent-child visitation programs.
Tips for Helping Children and Teens Before and After Visitation
American Academy of Pediatrics & Healthy Foster Care America (2015)
Includes tips for birth and foster parents and kin for before and after visitation.
Virtual Visitation and Child Welfare (PDF - 15,820 KB)
CW360: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue
Explores the use of technology to facilitate visitation between separated parents and children and the possibilities for child welfare agencies.
Visit Coaching: Building on Family Strengths to Meet Children's Needs (PDF - 83 KB)
Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 59(1)
Describes an innovative approach that can replace parenting classes and office-based visits with hands-on guidance to help parents take charge of visits and demonstrate more responsiveness to each child.
Family Time Coaching in Vermont (PDF - 4,526 KB)
Common Ground, 26(1)
Discusses the development of a coaching model, Vermont Family Time Guidelines, and current practice in the State.
Parent-Child Visits: Managing the Challenges, Reaping the Rewards
North Carolina Division of Social Services (2010)
Fostering Perspectives: Views on Foster Care and Adoption in North Carolina, 15(1)
Describes strategies foster caregivers can use to facilitate visitation and to prepare and support the child. The article also lists 10 ways caseworkers can support foster parents around visitation.