South Texas Counseling Agency provides individualized supervision of parent-child contact. We coordinate a professionally trained staff who supervise visits in the community, often at a parent’s home or other child-friendly location. All administrative functions are handled through our main office.
Our goal in providing supervised visitation is to minimize the emotional hardship that children frequently have to endure as a result of custody litigation, while allowing them to maintain safe and positive contact with their parents and other significant relatives.
These guidelines outline basic expectations and procedures for services. Failure to comply with guidelines may result in termination of our agency’s services.
Please initial the bottom of each page and sign at the end of the document.
The first step to beginning services is for the parties to obtain a court order or written agreement for supervised visitation services. The order/agreement should detail the following information:
Who is to participate in the supervised visitation sessions?
If a stepparent, grandparent, siblings, or any other persons are to be involved along with the visiting parent please name them specifically. Only persons specifically authorized by the order/agreement who have completed the intake process are allowed to be present during/at visits.
When are the visits expected to happen?
Supervised visits can generally only be scheduled on weekends. The agency will attempt to comply with specified times; however, the exact time and amount of hours for visitation for each family will depend on the availability of agency staff. Alternatively, the order/agreement can provide basic days (e.g. any time on Saturday, Sunday afternoon, etc.), requested number of hours, and authorization for us to set the specific schedule.
Where are the visits to happen?
Please note in the order or agreement (do not write it here) the parent’s exact address or other location for the visits. Alternatively, the order/agreement may state we will designate the location.
How much of the fee for services will each side pay?
100% to one party, 50/50 split, or other arrangements? This should include registration and other administrative fees.
To begin services all adults involved must complete the intake information. Please review the referral checklist for a list of all required documents. After all required documentation and fees are received an orientation appointment must be made to complete the intake process. Please call us during business hours and we will schedule for the next available appointment.
Children should not be present during the adult orientation as it covers information that is not appropriate for children. Once all parties have completed orientation final scheduling arrangements will be made. Please plan ahead – we are providing services in multiple cases and cannot simply drop everything the moment we have your completed information to start services (nor would you want us to ignore your case once we get started in order to deal with other clients).
One of the ways in which forensic practitioners maintain neutrality and ethical practice is by assuring that fee payment is not contingent on a particular recommendation or outcome. As such fees are due as an advance retainer.
Fees & Retainer
Responsibility for fees (100% to one party, 50/50 split, or other arrangements) should be specifically addressed in the court order or agreement for services. Clients are jointly responsible for any and all fees incurred and work done in relation to this case, although the court may order a disproportionate division of fees. Payment should be made in the form of check or money order made out to “South Texas Counseling Agency” and mailed to 1544 W Dove Ave McAllen, TX 78504. Returned checks will be charged the maximum fee allowable under the law.
Current fees are as follows:
- Registration – $50.00 per party
- Basic Staff Supervision – $50.00 per hour
- Supervision by the Program Director – $150.00 per hour
- Administrative Activity (orientation, correspondence, etc) – $100.00 per hour
- Court Testimony per staff member, 3-hour minimum charge – $250.00 hour
- Failure to Attend Fee – $50.00
Community-Based Supervision Payment for mileage for visitation in settings other than office-0.55 per mile and staff rate will be $60.00/$160.00 per hour
The registration fee should be submitted along with the other required intake documents and is required before scheduling the intake appointment. A retainer equal to one month worth of services or $300.00 (whichever is greater) is due in advance from each of the parties. The initial retainer if one party is ordered to pay for all costs of service is $600.00. Payments may be charged against the retainer provided that the parties continue to fully replenish the retainer when billed.
Payment should be made in the form of a check or money order made out to South Texas Counseling Agency and mailed to 1544 W Dove Ave McAllen, TX 78504 W. Dove Ave., McAllen, Texas 78504. Returned checks will be charged a fee of $30.00. If a party is late in replenishing the retainer or if the retainer ever falls below the two hours of services supervised visitation may be suspended until such time as the retainer is replenished.
Fees for court appearance or deposition are due at least one week before the scheduled appearance. Please note: if an appearance request is received without a minimum of one week notice the appearance fee is due immediately and there will be an additional $250.00 express charge. Failure to provide the fee as specified constitutes a release from the request appearance.
STCA Discounted/Sliding Fee Application
Discounts are offered based upon family/household size and annual income. Applications are available at STCA. Please inquire at the front desk if you have any questions.
Please note: We encourage parents to avoid the cost of staff appearances by planning ahead to have records submitted via a business records affidavit. Our staff are not forensic evaluators and will not offer opinions regarding whether the parent-child contact should continue to be supervised or not or on the subjective quality of the parent-child interactions. Any feedback offered during the course of supervision relates to addressing issues related to supervision. Our primary focus in this regard is on compliance with supervision. Our primary focus in this regard in on compliance with supervision guidelines in order to ensure the emotional and physical safety of the children involved.