CPC visitiation

A grant given by the COVID-19 Response Initiative of Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to Child Protection Center will help with its Children and Families Supervised Visitation Program, which has begun virtual visits during the pandemic.

SARASOTA — Child Protection Center, Inc. has received a $7,500 grant for virtual programming as it copes with the pandemic.

It came from the COVID-19 Response Initiative of Gulf Coast Community Foundation along with the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

“This grant supports CPC’s Children and Families Supervised Visitation Program (CFSVP), which has transitioned to providing virtual visits to continue its vital services during the pandemic. CPC has seen a sharp increase in the number of visits being performed, despite a reduction of funds,” it said in a news release, noting 100 virtual visits took place in April and 109 in May — compared to 746 in all of fiscal year 2019.

The CFSVP “provides a safe place for children to interact with parents without the stress of being in the middle of a family argument, observing a parent who is impaired by substance abuse and without uncomfortable conversations that include adult topics,” it said.

About 70 Sarasota County residents are volunteers for the program, supervising children and family visitations. By using CFSVP, officials say the risk of violence to children decreases.

“Ongoing parent and child contact, through supervised visitation, has been shown to be crucial to a child’s mental health and ability to build a healthy relationship with the non-custodial parent,” the news release states.

Volunteers appreciate seeing what can happen when it works.

“Seeing families reunited is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I have seen that most parents just want a second chance and will do what it takes to make that happen,” an unidentified volunteer said in a news release.

For more information on CPC, visit www.cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277

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