The Friend Of The Court Supervised
Parenting Time Exchange Program
A program of supervised exchange of children for parenting time, called SAFE EXCHANGE has been implemented at the Jackson County Friend of the Court. The program was initiated based on the award of an Access and Visitation grant to the Friend of the Court and to the Child and Parent Center for 2006, that was renewed for 2007. The exchanges have now been taking place since January of 2006, and the program is working well for both the parents and the children.
Court ordered exchanges take place at the Friend of the Court office, at 1697 Lansing Avenue . Exchanges normally occur on Friday evenings between 4:30 and 6:15 p.m. and on Sunday evenings between 4:30 and 6:15 p.m. , every other weekend.
Holiday parenting time exchanges are not available, unless the holiday occurs on a regular exchange weekend.
The following is the protocol used by SAFE EXCHANGE for assuring safe, efficient and conflict free exchanges of children, where no contact between the parents is desirable and has been ordered by the Court;
Parents who have a history of conflict at the time of exchange of their children, that is harmful to either parent or to the children, are suitable candidates for this program, as are parents for whom there is a no contact order in effect. These may include participants who have completed supervised parenting time at the Child and Parent Center , and are ready to move to unsupervised parenting time, or parents who each allege that the other is not appearing for exchange of the children. Families where a third party relative or friend has been ordered to supervise parenting time, may also be considered for this program.
All participants must have been ordered by the Court
to participate in supervised exchange.
Records of Participation:
A written log of each parent's participation/arrival times is maintained and will be available to the Court for its use in monitoring compliance.
There will always be two security guards, and at least one FOC staff/volunteer, and an exchange assistant on duty at the time of any exchange. FOC staff, who have completed domestic violence training, or who have previously been in direct care of youth or adult offenders, or who have been deputized will serve as volunteers.
The visiting parent is ordered to arrive at least 10 minutes before the custodial parent.
Parents will be ordered to park in front of the FOC building, in sight of the front entrance.
Entry into the Building:
All parents will enter through the front door, observed by the security guards, the FOC staff/volunteer(s), exchange assistance, and the security cameras. Any parent who is accompanied by others must bring such person(s) into the building with them. Others may not remain in the car outside of the building.
A. Friday evening exchanges:
The visiting parent enters the building through the front door. He or she goes through the metal detector, shows picture ID to the guard, signs the register, notes the time of arrival and enters the license number of his/her car. If the visiting parent has any items with him or her, these items must be sent through the scanner.
The visiting parent will then be escorted by the exchange assistant or FOC volunteer to the main waiting room to await the arrival of the child. The FOC volunteer or exchange assistant will tell the parent that he or she is to remain in waiting room until the child is brought to him/her.
The custodial parent and child (or children) are to enter the building through the front door. All will walk through the metal detector. Any packages held by the parent or child must be scanned. The custodial parent will show picture ID to the guard, sign the register, note the time of arrival, and enter the license number of his/her car.
The custodial parent and children are then escorted by the FOC volunteer(s) to the waiting room 101. The FOC volunteer/exchange assistant will remain with the custodial parent and children briefly to be certain that the children are comfortable accompanying the volunteer. The FOC volunteer or exchange assistant will then advise the custodial parent that he/she may leave, and will escort the children to the other parent in main waiting room.
When the security guard informs the volunteer that the custodial parent has left the parking lot, the volunteer will wait 5 minutes, and then advise the visiting parent that he/she may leave with the children.
B. Sunday evening return/exchanges:
The visiting parent and the children will arrive at the ordered time, which will be at least 10 minutes before the custodial parent is ordered to arrive. They will all be directed to walk through the metal detector, and any packages or items being carried will be placed on the scanner. The parent will then show the guard picture ID, sign the register, note the time of arrival and note his/her car license plate number.
The FOC staff/volunteer or exchange assistant will escort the visiting parent and the children to room 101 to wait for the arrival of the custodial parent. The parent and children are to remain in room 101.
The custodial parent will arrive at the scheduled time, and will enter through the metal detector, and place any hand held items on the scanner. The parent will then show the guard picture ID, sign the register, note the time of arrival and note his/her car license plate number.
The custodial parent will then be escorted to the main waiting room. The FOC volunteer or exchange assistant will escort the children from room 101 to the custodial parent in the main waiting room. The custodial parent will be advised that he/she may leave with the children.
When the security guard tells the FOC volunteer or exchange assistant that the custodial parent has left the parking lot, the FOC volunteer or exchange assistant will wait 5 minutes, and then will advise the visiting parent that he/she may leave.
The FOC volunteer, the exchange assistant and the security guards will remain in the building for 10 minutes after all visiting and custodial parents have left with the children.
Further information about participation in the program may be obtained from the
Friend of the Court at (517) 788-4470 or (517)768-6498.
If both parents are in agreement to participate in a supervised exchange,
the exchange will be set up by the Friend of the Court.
If only one party is seeking supervised exchange, a hearing will be set at the
Friend of the Court or before the Court upon written request,
and an order will be entered, either requiring supervised exchange or not.
If the Court has ordered participation in supervised exchange,
it will begin on the date that the Court has stated.