XENIA — The Greene County Family Visitation Center has been celebrating Supervised Visitation Awareness Month this May with orange ribbons.
Greene County commissioners recently recognized the center for their service, passing a resolution for the month and honoring a volunteer of the year.
Located at 143 East Market Street, the organization provides supervised visits and other services in a structured and safe environment.
“Supervised visits occur in our center with the purpose being the physical and emotional safety of the children,” Visitation Center Coordinator Libby Powers said at the meeting. “It also provides safety for victims of domestic violence while the parents exercise their court-ordered parenting … This is a way for the child to continue that contact with the parent so they can still have that hope and that healing that they need and that ongoing relationship with their parent while their parent is seeking the help that they need.”
Powers said in 2017, 258 children were referred to the center for supervised contact with a parent. Direct service hours increased 50 percent from the previous year.
“We saw for the first time that our primary reason for referral was substance abuse of the parents,” she said. “But the good news is that we were prepared because we have a visitation center, we have a safe place for children to meet with their parents. We have not only staff but also a dedicated group of volunteers that help us. And we had an increase in funding through the VOCA grant.”
The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant allowed for an increase in staff, the addition of safety personnel in the building during most direct service hours, and more training.
The center named Tarah Mongold as Volunteer of the Year.
“She is phenomenal. She’s assertive; she’s built great rapport with our clients while keeping professional boundaries,” staff member Megan said.
Mongold will begin her graduate studies in social work.
In 2017, 36 volunteers and student interns contributed 3,637 hours to the center.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.