Standardization is the most challenging factor for the Professional Provider of Supervised Visitation to establish and sustain. This word typically applies to things that can be measured: weight, size, durability, strength, and quality. In the case of professional visitation services the measure is quality and forensic accuracy.
Quality at Hannah's House is measured in several ways:
- Completeness and timeliness of screening, intake, orientation and legal review for each client
- Accuracy of documentation in all areas
- Clarity of communication verbally and in writing
- Timeliness of interventions during visits every time it is necessary
- Enforcement of policies that protect clients and staff every time an infraction occurs
- Implementation of procedures that maintain neutrality
- Meeting deadlines for documentation, reports and record keeping
We aim for 100% forensic accuracy every day in everything we do. We usually achieve 95-98%. That 2-5% is painful because it negatively effects the lives of families. Mistakes are inevitable in any human endeavor. People aren't machines that can operate at 100%.
We pride ourselves on admitting it when we make mistakes. We have a clear policy and procedures for the handling of Forensic Errors. Forensic Error is what it is called when we make a mistake. There's zero margin of error for anything less than admission of fault and speaking the absolute truth.
When something is missed or a policy unenforced or a procedure not followed this is what we expect from our staff:
- I blew it or I missed it.
- I was afraid to intervene because I thought the parent would explode.
- I forgot.
- I didn't allow enough time or adequately prepare to prevent it.
- It happened so fast I couldn't document 100% of the conversation.
The stakes at Hannah's House are very high when we make a mistake.
- Children lose time with a parent
- Children are exposed to conflict (loud or quiet) between parents
- Children hear angry words when supervisors don't enforce rules equally
- Children hear accusations of injustice and unfairness
- Children are injured: emotionally or physically when supervisors don't intervene
NOT IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN
These are watch words at Hannah's House that guide our work every day. Sometimes we feel like elephants doing ballet on the head of a pin. Our interventions need to be swift, accurate, empathetic, quiet, and effective.
We do the best we can. And there is always room for improvement. Our commitment to quality permeates everything we do. And we still make mistakes.
This is the nature of being human. This is the nature of parenting, of growing up, of being alive and growing on the planet. We all make mistakes.
Standardization of quality with daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual procedures in place is our focus. We seek and welcome feedback and dialogue. We work hard to help all of our clients do well. We do that with structure, rules, standardization, and a fun, friendly, child-centered place to spend family time.
If we are doing a good enough job, spontaneous and meaningful family time will happen. Parents and children will interact without any need to think about the rules, the structure or the focus on standardization because that is our job, our responsibility.
All adults in the lives of a child experiencing a family breakup should keep these word in mind to safeguard the children from grownup worries and concerns:
- Careful the things you say, children will listen
- Careful the things you do, children will see.