The Safe Havens Family Visitation Center, 210 Cleaver Farm Road, Middletown, opened Aug. 8 in Middletown, bringing the number of Delaware family visitation centers to six.
An official open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women approved funding for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services under the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program. This cooperative agreement supports supervised visitation and safe exchange options for families with a history of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, child abuse or stalking.
Although the federal grant was received in September 2012, the project had remained in the developmental stage for more than five years because of the requirements of the Office of Violence Against Women regarding requirements for a site that could be used for the new center.
Working hand-in-hand with Child Inc., the Office of Community Services within DHSS toured more than 20 facilities available for commercial lease. Sites were ruled out for various reasons, including size, compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, cost and safety. The search ended when Child Inc. secured a landlord-donor who provided the Middletown site. The facility is new construction, and passed the Office of Violence Against Women’s requirements and Middletown’s zoning.
The Family Visitation Program provides a safe, structured environment where children can maintain or re-establish a relationship with a nonresidential parent; and help keep children, adult victims and other parties in cases of intimate partner violence safe during exchanges and visitation.
For more, call 283-7518 in New Castle County; or 424-2420 in Kent and Sussex counties.