Sunflower Kids promotes safe and healthy individuals and families by providing safe supervised visitation and monitored exchange services to families with a history of domestic violence, child abuse and/or neglect, sexual assault, stalking, substance abuse, and mental health issues. Our number one priority is the safety and well-being of the families we serve, our staff, and the greater community.
Sunflower Kids recognizes that the parent-child relationship is central to the child’s sense of security and healthy development. By providing safe visitation, Sunflower Kids allows parents and children to strengthen their bond without worry or stress of experiencing conflict, intimidation, control, and further abuse.
Supervised visitation is visitation between a non-custodial parent and one or more of his or her children in a safe, secure environment to enhance building positive parent-child relationships. Visits take place at our facility and are observed and documented by a Visitation Monitor.
Monitored exchange is the supervision of the exchange of children from one parent to the other. Parents do not come into contact with one another during the process, which takes place at the Sunflower Kids office. Following the exchange, the visiting parent leaves to spend time with his or her children unsupervised
How to Initiate ServicesBefore beginning services, each party must complete a face-to-face orientation with Sunflower Kids staff. Each party is responsible for contacting Sunflower Kids to schedule this orientation. Do not wait for Sunflower Kids to contact you, as we are not provided with any contact information from the courts.
If you are seeking services please contact us at 859-268-0487.
Once both parties have completed orientation, signed the Client Contract, and have paid any applicable fees, Sunflower Kids will make a good faith effort to schedule services. Services will be scheduled based on each party's availability and SFK's available resources.
FEES FOR SERVICE
Fees for service depend on the reason for referral. If fees are assessed they are on a sliding scale and are determined by income.
In order to understand the unique needs of individuals and families, SFK and families will explore the Center’s ability to provide services in a safe manner during the orientation process.
At the time of orientation, the parties must provide SFK with photo identification, any court documents relating to the need for services, and, if applicable, a non-refundable intake fee. If assessed, this fee is $30.00. If fees are assessed, clients visiting children at SFK must also provide two most recent paystubs (or documentation of unemployment) and $30.00 toward the first visit fee.
During orientation SFK staff will provide clients with an overview of SFK’s services, a tour of the center, and will review SFK’s Client Contract in detail. The Client Contract outlines SFK’s rules for participation in the program. Clients will indicate their understanding and acceptance of the rules by signing the Client Contract. Clients may sign documents during orientation or at a later date, but all documents must be signed before services begin. Clients will be given a copy of the signed Client Contract.
Before the orientation ends, SFK staff will clarify any additional steps that must occur before services begin and let clients know that SFK will contact them to discuss/confirm a visit schedule after both parties have completed the orientation process. Or if both parties have completed their orientation and it is determined that SFK can safely provide services, SFK may go ahead and schedule a time for visitations.
Orientation for ChildrenIf children are of an appropriate age, a time will be scheduled with the custoidal party for the child(ren)’s orientation. During the child(ren)’s orientation, SFK staff will show the the child(ren) the facility and visitation rooms, explain how services are provided, and address any questions or concerns the child(ren) may have.
Refusal of Services
Clients can accept or decline SFK’s services. If a client is court ordered to SFK and for whatever reason does not choose to utilize SFK’s services, the matter is between the client and the court. SFK cannot force anyone to accept services.
SFK reserves the right to decline services to any or all members of a family if at any time it is determined based on the information provided that:
SFK will re-evaluate and reconsider any individual or family declined for services if that individual or family can demonstrate that there has been a change in the situation related to the reason for which services were declined.
Sunflower Kids also reserves the right to suspend or terminate visitation or exchange services if families do not comply with the terms stated in the Client Contract.
Limitation on SFK's Services
SFK will not perform custodial evaluations or make visitation or related recommendations to the court. This is because SFK staff recognize that services provided and observations made are done so within a somewhat artificial environment (a structured and protected setting) and therefore cannot make any prediction about how contact between the same clients (s) and child(ren) might occur in a less structured setting without supervision.
Sunflower Kids shall not discriminate in providing services to children and their families on the basis of race, religion, cultural heritage, political beliefs, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability. SFK's facility is handicap accessible.
Q: Where is Sunflower Kids located?
A: Sunflower Kids' Lexington location is on the ground floor of Parkside Apartments at 1060 Cross Keys Rd, Suite 160. Our Georgetown location is housed within Georgetown Police Department, 550 Bourbon Street, Georgetown, KY.
Q: When are orientations provided?
Q: How often are visits?
A: Visits are generally one hour once a week, the same day and time every week.
If a court order stipulates a different visit schedule, SFK will make an effort to accommodate that schedule. However, because we attempt to serve the greatest number of families possible and our schedule is often full, SFK is often not able to provide visits longer than one hour or more than once a week.
Visits are coordinated to accommodate each party’s schedule, the unique needs of every child, and the availability of SFK Visitation Monitors and security. If SFK is unable to find a time to which both parties agree, the parties will be referred back to the court or referral source.
Q: When do visits occur?
A: SFK’s hours of operation may vary depending on the agency resources and the needs of families using services.
SFK currently provides supervised visitation services five days a week at the following times. However, please understand that some of these visit times may not be immediately available due to our capacity restraints.
Monday - Thursday:
Monday and Wednesday:
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Q: When are exchanges?
A: For weekend exchanges, the first phase of the exchange occurs on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. The second phase of the exchange occurs on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. We also do same-day exchanges (i.e. exchange at noon and at 5 p.m on Sunday) for families that are able to have a limited amount of unsupervised interaction.
Q: Where will visits take place?
A: All visits and exchanges take place at the Sunflower Kids office, which provides a safe, nurturing environment.
Q: Does Sunflower Kids charge fees for services? How much are your fees?
The party visiting at SFK is responsible for visitation fees, if fees apply. This is a sliding-scale fee based on the party's income. Visit fees range from $30.00 to $70 or more per visit. Proof of income must be provided at the time of Intake and Orientation. If proof of income is not provided, fees will be assessed at $70.00 per visit or visits will not take place. Payment must be made before services are provided, as outlined in SFK's Fee Policy.
For exchanges, the visiting party pays a set fee of $15.00 for each exchange (i.e. on Fridays and Sundays).
Additional party-specific charges, such as records request fees and cancellation fees, are the responsibility of the party who incurs them.
Q: There is no court order to use Sunflower Kids' services. Are we still able to do so?
A: Most families are referred to SFK through a court order; however, SFK also accepts referrals from community and state agencies and self-referrals by families.
Q: We have a no-contact protective order in place. How can I be sure I won’t run into him/her when taking my child(ren) to visit?
A: Sunflower Kids uses staggered arrival and departure times to ensure that parties will not come in contact with one another during visits or exchanges.
Q: How can I be sure my child and I will be safe during the visit?
A: SFK uses a variety of safety mechanisms to ensure that adult and child victims of family violence are protected from future harm when receiving services. In addition to trained Monitors, SFK contracts with off-duty law enforcement officers to provide security during our most high-risk visits. SFK staggers the arrival and departure times of the parties and provides separate entrances and exits to ensure that no contact occurs between the visiting and non-visiting parties. Electronic monitoring and mobile panic buttons also help ensure the safety of children and Monitors during the visits.
Q: What if my child does not want to participate in the visit?
A: While the Visitation Monitors will do everything they can to ensure that your child is comfortable during the visit, we cannot force or coerce the child's participation. If at any time during the visit the child feels uncomfortable and tells the Monitor he or she wants the visit to end, the Monitor will end the visit.
However, because visits are usually court ordered, it is important that both parties make an effort encourage the visits. If you are the custodial party, it is very important that you prepare your child for the visit in a positive, age-appropriate manner. The following is a list of suggestions for ways to help your child prepare for the visit:
Q: What does the Visitation Monitor do during visitations?
A: The Visitation Monitor remains in the room with the visiting party and children at all times to ensure the safety of the children. The Monitor is there to observe and record the interactions between the visiting party and the children, but does so with as little interference as possible. The Monitor only interferes in the visit if SFK guidelines are not being followed.
Q: When do you offer monitored visits/exchanges?
A: Sunflower Kids provides visitation and exchange services five days a week. Currently, the Lexington office offers supervised visits on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and on Sunday afternoons and evenings. The Georgetown location offers supervised visits on Monday and Wednesday evenings and midday on Saturdays. Weekend exchanges occur on Friday night with scheduled returns on Sunday.
Q: What if I can’t make this week’s appointment? Do you offer make up appointments?
A: Sunflower Kids cannot usually accommodate make-up visits or exchanges. We serve numerous families each week, making it difficult to reschedule visits.
Once visits are scheduled, we highly encourage clients to honor them in a consistent manner. While it may be inconvenient at times, children have a right to have time and attention from all the people they care about.
Q; I have completed my intake assessment, but the other party has not made contact with Sunflower Kids. What happens now?
A: Visits can only take place once both parties have contacted Sunflower Kids and have completed the orientation process. You will need to take this issue back to your lawyer or the court to determine how your Order can be enforced.
Q: What is the relationship between Sunflower Kids and the court?
A: Sunflower Kids accepts referrals from the court, but there is no formal relationship. There is no information-sharing other than when requested by the court. Court orders and other administrative information must be provided to SFK by the parties seeking services.
Q: Will Sunflower Kids make custodial recommendations to the court?
A: No, SFK will not perform custodial evaluations or make visitation or related recommendations to the court. This is because SFK staff recognize that services provided and observations made are done so within a structured and protected setting. Therefore, SFK cannot make any prediction about how contact between the same party and child(ren) might occur in a less structured setting without supervision.
Q: How long will I have to come to Sunflower Kids for visits?
A: Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer this question. The situation of every family referred to Sunflower Kids is unique and decisions regarding visitation are ultimately left in the hands of the court system.
Q: Why is supervised visitation needed?
For Adult Victims
Many victims of domestic violence who are able to successfully extricate themselves from relationships with violent partners find that although they have ended the abusive relationship, they are still subject to ongoing harassment and abuse by the perpetrators – particularly through court-ordered supervision with children. In fact, victims are often at greater risk after they have ended the relationship as perpetrators try desperately to re-assert their control over victims.
The adult victims served by SFK are referred to the agency through the court system, social services, or self-referral because they are considered high-risk for future incidents of violence as indicated by their violent past.
Sunflower Kids is the only supervised visitation agency in the region with a focus on domestic violence. Because of the security measures we have in place we are able to serve families deemed by the court to be highest risk for continued violence and child abduction.
Visitation is essential for the well-being of many children. Through our services, we work to help maintain the parent-child attachment and reduce a child’s sense of abandonment. Secure and stable attachments are the foundations of a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. By providing regular contact between parent and child, we also help preserve a child’s sense of belonging and understanding of themselves and their culture. When a child loses a connection with a parent, they lose family history, medical history, and cultural information.
Without access to safe visitation and exchange centers, the children in these families are at risk for emotional and physical abuse, including witnessing violence between their parents, abduction, and/or feelings of abandonment if contact with a parent has been denied.
We believe that children deserve access to all the people they love, but that access should be in a safe and supportive environment.
Can’t find the answer to your question? Please feel free to contact us.