Our Child Access Centers and Access Services
The CRC operates 3 Child Access Centers (Safe Havens) (Locations here.) in partnership with community and faith-based organizations in Maryland. The centers serve as neutral drop off and pick up locations as well as places to conduct supervised visits. The Centers are dedicated to delivering neutral and fair access while protecting the safety and rights of children and their parents. Child Access Centers also serve to respect family dignity and values.
A Primer On Access
Learn how our access centers work. These Question and Answers are intended to give you a quick and accurate summary of the services offered at CRC's Access Centers.
What is a transfer?
A transfer occurs when one parent hands the child off to the other parent for a set period of time. The access centers provide a neutral and safe environment for pick-up and drop-off. Transfers are all documented by trained access center staff who provide information and support to the parents. The access centers also eliminates the he said/she said in custody cases, as the staff at the access centers documents each transfer.
“We look upon these transfers as transitional parenting until parents can learn to transfer their children at their own home without our help. At these centers, parents learn to focus on their children, not on their own parental arguments with each other,“ states Al Ellis, Director of Access Services, CRC.
What is supervised access?
Supervised access allows children to spend valuable time with their parents, in a safe and controlled environment. Supervised access, also known as supervised visitation, occurs when a child cannot go home with the non-custodial parent for fear of parental kidnapping, family violence, substance abuse or when the parent is attempting to re-enter the child’s life after a long absence. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for parents and children, a higher degree of security, greater resources, and staff training are dedicated to supervised access (visitation).
Purpose and Benefits of Access:
- Improves the quality of parenting time.
- Assures the child of continuing contact with both parents.
- Reduces hostility and confrontation among family members.
- Increases child support compliance.
- Reduces courtroom time for parents.
Who uses CRC access centers?
- 40 percent are unmarried parents.
- 35 percent are mothers who do not have primary care of their children.
- Grandparents, and other family members, also benefit by using access centers for safe, neutral and supportive parenting/family time.
Why Use CRC Safe Havens?
- No cost to families (usually).
- Accountability to the courts.
- Trained monitors understand rigorous demands of parenting.
- Provides a warm, friendly, safe environment.
- Locations generally in church meeting rooms or day care centers.