Cases involving court ordered supervised visits for parents and their children in Franklin County continue to grow.
It's sometimes an uncomfortable and upsetting ordeal when the court system has to get involved in custody battles involving parents and caregivers. But it's a reality that's starting to grow.
The Department of Social Services is asking for the public's help.
“We definitely see an increase for the judge wanting to put visitation in place to supervise and see how that parent or possible caregiver interact with that child so the judge can make a safe determination,” said Supervisor Brandon McGhee.
D.S.S. is putting together a group of volunteers for its SAFE Program, short for Safe and Friendly Environment.
“With this visitation program the judge will be able to court order so that we will be able to further monitor and see if the parent is a safe and appropriate caregiver,” said McGhee.
Currently there is only one person that's designated to supervise visits with parents. Typically that staff person assists with foster children, but an increase in case loads is causing the need for more assistance.
McGhee says the program wants to create a safe and comfortable environment for both the parent and child; even giving the option to meet with parties, for example, at the library or the park.
“This is also a good experience for anyone that's retired; people who like to do the child advocacy or casa volunteers could do this,” said McGhee.
D.S.S. will hold an informational at its office in Rocky Mount on July 28. They're hoping to find qualified assistance for a growing issue.