Kids First at Centers offers supervised visitation and exchange services in Midland and Odessa for parents and children facing serious family stress factors such as separation, divorce, domestic violence, anger issues, substance abuse, recent release from prison, child abduction, and child abuse and/or neglect. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for children to have safe, low stress, and conflict-free access to both parents. Kids First clients are often referred to the program by a family court judge, or clients may voluntarily enroll. Visitation rooms are filled with toys so that parents can engage in activities with their children and build familial bonds. Trained observers monitor the visits to ensure the emotional and physical safety of those involved. Supervised exchanges allow parents to exchange possession of their children without encountering one another. These services allow children to benefit from a continued relationship with both parents without witnessing unhealthy confrontations and stress between parents. Payment for services is based on a sliding scale. Kids First coordinators schedule supervised visitations and exchanges, are trained and experienced in assessing needs and providing services to families, and are members of the Supervised Visitation Network.
Volunteer Opportunities with Kids First
Kids First is a supervised visitation program that provides a safe, conflict-free, low-stress space for kids to build and maintain a bond with and attachment to their noncustodial parents. That’s a boring synopsis, but Kids First at Centers is an amazing little program that is very hard to describe in happy, glowing terms.
Custodial parents are mothers, fathers, grandparents, foster parents, or other relatives who are trying their best in an odd situation. Noncustodial parents are moms and dads for whom life has taken an unexpected turn.
In amongst all of this turmoil and confusion are the kids. We tell parents that we take the name “Kids First” very seriously. The children who come into this program are our priority. Their emotional and physical safety is of utmost importance. Even through all of this struggle, anger, and fear, we see kids who run into the arms of their visiting parent, and spend four hours a month laughing, playing, talking, and eating with a parent who they love and miss.
THIS is where YOU come in! As a Kids First volunteer, you will monitor visits between the children and their noncustodial parent(s). You will get to see them build their bond. You will get to help the kids feel safe and secure. You will be a part of the amazing service we offer.
We offer visits on the first through fourth Thursday evenings each month and on the first and third Saturday mornings each month. Sign up for them all or just occasionally – it is up to you!
“This program has been one of the most rewarding volunteer tasks that I have ever been involved in. Kids First promotes a positive dynamic within families throughout the Permian Basin area with each visit. They provide broken households a way to rebuild and create a stronger family unit. Our volunteers connect with each family on a personal level before and after a visit; and help encourage the importance of a loving, nurturing, and positive relationship.” B.W. – volunteer for Kids First
If you are interested in becoming a Kids First volunteer, please contact Becca Arons in Midland at 432-570-1084 or Rachel Dobbs in Odessa 432-580-7006.