The Access and Visitation Program is a resource for non-custodial parents who seek access to and visitation with their children. There are five access and visitation coordinators in seven judicial districts that work directly with non-custodial parents who want to have visitation with their children but have limited or no contact with them. One additional coordinator is available to travel and take referrals statewide. Coordinators assist non-custodial parents in removing barriers that prevent them from visiting their children.
The coordinators accept and actively seek referrals from child support enforcement courts, family court judges, child support enforcement agents, attorneys, human service providers and other sources. The access and visitation coordinators perform individual case management and work to develop and maintain an active presence in the community to inform the public, social service agencies and organizations about the services offered to parents by the Access and Visitation Program. The access and visitation coordinators also identify needed services that are not offered in the community and work with local agencies and organizations to seek funding and implement these additional services, such as mentoring programs for fathers and supervised visitation and exchange centers.
The goals of the Access and Visitation Program are to:
- Identify the underlying issues creating any barriers to non-custodial parenting visiting with their child(ren)
- To support and facilitate the non-custodial parents' access to their children
Coordinators accomplish this by:
- Making referrals
- Offering assistance with mediation services (private or through the court via the Child Custody and Visitation Mediation Program)
- Parent education and visitation enforcement services (commonly referred to as supervised visitation)
The access and visitation coordinator will assess the parent's needs and link him/her to services in the community, such as:
- Health care
- Financial assistance
- Parenting classes
- Support groups
- Job counseling
Non-custodial parents, both mothers and fathers, who are experiencing barriers in gaining access to and visitation with their children.
This includes married and unmarried non-custodial parents who do not have existing court orders for visitation, custody, or child support as well as parents who do have orders for:
- Existing visitation and custody from the court
- Child support established by and from the Department of Social Services
- Private child support
The program emphasizes that fathers, the majority of clients served, should have an active role in their children's lives.
Parent Education Presentation
Parent education programs make divorcing parents or parents living in separate homes aware of the needs of their children during and after the divorce process and when children are parented in separate homes.
The Most Important Job: Parenting Information for Families Living Apart (North Carolina Parent Education Handbook)
Companion handbook to the Parent Education video. The booklet should be accessed by the viewer BEFORE you watch the presentation because there are references to activities on different pages of the booklet.
The video entitled The Most Important Job (Spanish version of video) provides guidance for parents from professionals as well as from the child's perspective. Find more information about parent education.
Districts and Counties Served
- District 6: Halifax
- District 12: Cumberland
- District 14: Durham
- District 16A: Anson, Richmond
- District 20A: Stanly
- District 20B: Union
- District 28: Buncombe
Do you have a question or concern about the Access and Visitation Program?