MUST READ: See Pitfalls of using the SAFE Program
The SAFE program is a service of the Victim Assistance Centre (VAC) for supervised visitation in Texas. VAC is a non-profit organization operating in the Houston area. The SAFE program provides a neutral setting for parents to visit with their children while being monitored by staff members.
The SAFE Program is usually court-ordered in situations where there have been allegations of physical or emotional abuse, drug use or other problems. The goal of SAFE is to provide a stress-free environment for children to visit with a parent.
Benefits Of SAFE Supervised Visitation In Texas
A benefit of SAFE is that there is no interaction between the parents and the entire time a parent spends with their child is devoted to fun and positive interaction. SAFE enables parents to establish a good visitation history with their children, which can be reported to the court through unbiased reports. These reports contain information taken from staff members’ observations during the visits. SAFE makes no recommendations to the court and has no control over the length of time parents participate in the program.
There are several SAFE Program locations throughout Harris County. There is an enrollment fee of $75 and the visiting parent is responsible for the $60 per visitation fee.
Critical Tip : Consult an attorney before accepting SAFE as your visitation and access program.
Pitfalls Of Using The Safe Program For Supervised Visitation In Texas
- SAFE program staff are not your friends. Treat them with respect and kid gloves but remember they will document their perception of events.
- SAFE program staff take sides so be careful when communicating with them or in front of them.
- SAFE program staff will testify with regards to their observations even when they lack the qualifications to provide the same.
- SAFE program staff may refuse to put things in writing. If this is the case, send a fax requesting a response in writing. You may need a few of these over a reasonable period to
show you made several attempts to work with the organization. Make sure to keep the fax confirmation receipt to present to the judge.
- SAFE program may take an extended amount of time to schedule visitation and access. Currently, the wait for your first visit is about three months.
Victim Assistance Centre Contact Information:
Victim Assistance Centre
Safe Supervised Visitation
1310 Prairie, Suite 1030
Houston, Texas 77002
Phone: 713-274-7391 – (New as of 2016)
Consult With An Attorney First
Mary E. Ramos and her experienced attorneys are among the top divorce and family law experts in the Houston area. If you have been referred to the SAFE program, please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC for a consultation with an attorney to discuss your case.