The Family Center programs in Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois serve families experiencing exceptional difficulty during court ordered parenting time. These difficulties often result in exposing the children to adult conflicts (including verbal abuse, violence and threats of violence). All participants are referred by the court and must have a court order specifying their participation. Upon referral, each participant must make an intake orientation appointment. When orientations are completed, exchanges will begin. The design of the programs is such that parenting time will occur without the parents having physical or visual contact with one another. Both Centers have a Security Officer present at all times.
The Family Exchange Program
Ensures that parents are able to peaceably exchange their children in a secure setting at a designated time. Parents are assigned different arrival times, parking lots, entrances, and waiting areas to ensure no contact occurs between the parents. A staff member is responsible for transferring the child from one parent to the other.
The Supervised Parenting Program
Is a parenting time which occurs at a Children First Facility. Parenting time takes place for one hour each week at designated Family Center. The time will be arranged at the parent intake orientation and will be determined by availability of the staff. The parent visiting with his/her child(ren) does not leave the facility with them. The sessions takes place in a playroom with a one-way mirror and a listening system.