Supervised Visitation supports healthy families by providing a safe setting for non-custodial parents to visit with their children. It’s a neutral space in which families who are going through hard times can rebuild together. The holidays are a wonderful time to be with family, but they can also be stressful. We recently had a great experience with a family at Nassau Supervised Visitation. We hope you all enjoy this heartwarming story, and that you had a happy holiday with your family!
We have several Orthodox families in NSV. Last week was the first night of Chanukah. I asked one of the custodial parents to light the menorah in the waiting room—it’s a cardboard cutout menorah with brightly colored stickers as flames. The custodial parent was happy that I asked him to do so, saying, “It is my pleasure” with a big smile on his face. The NSV staff had already lit the menorah in the visiting rooms. The 12-year-old daughter of this custodial parent asked if she could light the candle with her visiting parent. I informed the child that their father had already lit the candle in the waiting room. The little girl had a look of disappointment on her face.
Then came the last night of Chanukah. I informed the visiting parent and the little girl that they could light the candle for the last night of Chanukah. The visiting parent and the child went through the ritual of lighting the candle. At the end, they smiled and thanked me. The visiting parent informed me that it was always their ritual to light the menorah together on the first night of Chanukah. The visiting parent and child hugged, smiled and thanked me for letting them light the menorah on the last night of Chanukah. This simple act during a supervised visit meant so much to this family.
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Dorothy Worrell is the Program Director of Nassau Supervised Visitation located in Hempstead. She has over 20 years of child welfare experience working with abused and neglected children in foster care as well as adoption and residential settings.