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Though courts increasingly rely on supervised visitation services in custody disputes and child welfare cases (Salem, Kulak, & Deutsch, 2007), a search of the literature produces few studies reporting empirically validated aspects of supervised visitation programs. The current literature about supervised visitation extensively documents the rationale for providing the service and contains numerous descriptions of provider programs (Birnbaum & Alaggia, 2006). The next generation of research must focus on long-term outcomes that demonstrate effectiveness of supervised visitation programs (Birnbaum & Alaggia, 2006).

This project involves a review of the literature concerning supervised visitation and child access services. The intent of the research is to summarize best practices supported by empirical evidence. It identifies emerging trends, issues, and gaps in the relevant literature. It also integrates the best practices analysis with recommendations for further consideration by the leadership of the Maryland Judiciary.