Safe Child Custody Exchange
Many of the children in our valley are exchanged on a regular basis between custodial and non-custodial parents or guardians. Far too often these exchanges are made between factions that are angry and even violent toward one another. The children, caught in the middle of this, go through the trauma at nearly every exchange.
Grace Resource Center is providing a free service where parents and guardians can exchange their children in a safe and peaceful environment. Cooperating with the Sheriff’s Stations of Lancaster and Palmdale this service will take place in the lobby of those establishments, and also in community and wellness houses at various locations. Custodial and non-custodial parents can now take advantage of this service.
Custodial parents or guardians can bring the children to the Sheriff’s station or community house at a pre-arranged scheduled time. The children are put in the care of a parent coach volunteer while the parent or guardian is moved to a secure location. The non-custodial parent or guardian has a 15-minute window in which to pick up the children. Once this safe exchange is made and that person is gone, the custodial parent or guardian is allowed to leave.
Parents or guardians are not permitted to use the children to pass messages on and are encouraged to make the visit about the children, avoiding all talk of the other parent or guardian.
Many of the calls our law enforcement personnel get on Friday evenings and Sunday evenings are domestic violence calls related to exchanging children. Now there is an alternative that protects children of broken marriages from the trauma of such exchanges.
Again, we use volunteers to man this program, and need more volunteers all the time. If you are interested in helping with this service please contact George Marquez at Grace at 661-940-5272.