State or other local Chapters give SVN members an opportunity to meet more frequently with others in their profession and work together to enhance service delivery, encourage and assist new programs, and establish important local contacts. Since Supervised Visitation programs are generally funded and regulated at a state level, if at all, State Chapters allow SVN members to provide a professional voice in decision-making. Without our presence, decisions will be made by advocates from other disciplines who will represent their specific views and priorities without consideration of the broader picture held by Supervised Visitation professionals.
The Florida Chapter, for example, has been very effective in influencing legislation because of their uniting together as one voice. Barbara Pope in the Fall 2000 edition of the Florida Clearinghouse Networker, urged her Chapter members to "speak as one voice." She said "Think about what influence you can achieve… You-each and every one of you-are playing a vital part in providing… families and children with a safe and secure means to maintain a relationship with one another. Without our programs, this would not likely happen for them. The clients in our programs will become even more underserved than presently unless we move together as one voice in the same direction."
The Minnesota Chapter, which only formed recently, has already launched an "Orange Ribbon" campaign to raise awareness about the value of Supervised Visitation. At a subsequent Annual General Meeting of SVN, the Board of Directors voted to make this campaign a project of the entire Network. These are just some examples of what Chapters can accomplish. We are the experts in this profession. Our experience has taught us what families need and how to best meet those needs. We have a responsibility to speak out for the sake of the children. Working together at both the state and national levels, we strive to bring our profession into the main stream of services for children and families.
To form a chapter in your own state, e-mail us at Joe@svnetwork.net for more information.