Q1: What should I do if I know I’m going to be late or can’t keep my scheduled appointment at the center?
A: If you are running behind due to work delays, car problems or traffic congestion; call the Center Director or supervisor and let them know you are on your way and when you expect to arrive. Staff will ask if the other parent is able to wait until your arrival. If you cannot keep your appointment at all, you should also contact the center director or supervisor during the office or center’s business hours, the day of your appointment and briefly explain your circumstances. If notification has been made to the other parent, please inform staff. You may bring a written explanation or formal documentation of your absence for the record on your next visit. CRC does not have the authority to excuse absences or tardiness.
Q2: What if the other parent does not consistently arrive on time or is repeatedly absent?
A: If the other parent is often late or fails to bring your child(ren) to the center, services may be terminated due to inactivity of services. A staff person will intervene to learn the cause of the problem and help to resolve the issue if possible. While staff cannot direct the other parent to comply, CRC will offer written or verbal evidence to the Courts and Family Support Services of a parent’s violation of the order. If you have concerns, you may also notify the Court and Family Support Services..
Q3: If the other parent makes threatening statements or gestures to me or I suspect abuse of my child(ren), what should I do?
A: CRC has security on staff to deter this type of behavior while at the center and on the premises. If you feel threatened in any way, you should immediately remove yourself from the situation and notify the center director and/or security personnel. Staff will promptly assess the situation and contact local police authorities if necessary. In certain instances, CRC will report to the Court details of the circumstances, outcomes, and any corrective recommendations. However, CRC can only respond to issues that arise at the center and on the premises. CRC cannot address any legal or personal issues you may have with the other parent.
Q4: What is the Children’s Rights Council and what is the relationship with the Prince George’s County Circuit Court?
A: The Children’s Rights Council (CRC) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization serving families and at-risk youth for more than 30 years, long working to promote a society where laws, attitudes and public opinion affirm that “The Best Parent is Both Parents”®. Organized to serve the public purpose of advocating the healthy development of children, CRC strives to minimize the emotional, physical and economic distress of children at-risk because of parents involved in highly conflicted custody and access disputes. At the request of the Court, CRC is contracted to provide court-ordered access services for both parents; report on the progress of parental cooperation; and provide written and verbal compliance with court orders.
Q5: May I have copies of logs or reports for use in court?
A: Yes, as they pertain strictly to you and your child(ren). You must make your request in writing to the Center to the Center Director at [email protected], accompanied with a Request for Release of Information Form. While the services of CRC are free, the copies are not. You can ask the Center Director about the copying and processing fees should you need detail after viewing the Schedule of Fees. There is a one-time fee to receive copies of your file. The copies will continue to be available to you even after termination of services. Please note: CRC does not accept checks.
Q6: Is there a fee for use of the Safe Haven Program (access centers)?
A: There is no charge to either parent for use of access services. The Prince George’s County Circuit Court primarily funds the Safe Haven Program as part of its system of community services. You are however encouraged to join the Children’s Rights Council where you may receive additional resource information, referral services, and parental support to help strengthen your role as a loving, nurturing, responsible parent.
Q7: How does lunchtime work when participating in supervised access with my child(ren)?
A: The center does not have a lunch room for parents participating in supervised access. You may however, bring in meals from home or order foods delivered to share with your child(ren). We ask that you respect any special requests (from the other parent) that may pertain to the child’s dietary consumption. You are responsible for the clean-up. CRC does not store or hold onto any food items.
Q8: When is it okay to bring a relative to the center for supervised access?
A: Only those persons identified by the court order are allowed on the premises and to accompany a parent during supervised access. However, in certain instances the center director may allow a relative to participate (Family Day), if the Court has not forbidden such access and the other parent has given their permission. Certain allowances can be made. Ask the Center Director in advance.
Q9: May I bring special items such as a toy or small pet when participating in supervised access?
A: We encourage parents to bring toys and personal items to share with your child during the visitation. There are toys and games available for your child(ren)’s use at the Center. Be sure however, to take the item with you after the session unless you are allowing the child(ren) to bring the item home with them. Except for certified service animals, pets (whether caged or leashed) are not allowed in the center.
Q10: Are cell phones allowed?
A: Cell phones are allowed at the centers. Cell phones can only be used between the parent and the child to play child and age appropriate games and to watch child and age appropriate movies or videos. Parents may also use their phones to order food during parenting time. Please note: ALL phone activity will be confirmed and monitored by the monitor. Parents nor children are allowed to make phone calls, face-time or text during parenting time. Parents can use their phones to take pictures of their child/children only during parenting time. You are not allowed to take photos/videos of other child(ren) / families or staff.