A Chronology of the Supervised Visitation Network
1992 Judith Wallach of the New York Society for Ethical Culture hosts a one day meeting, attended by 40 providers and interested professionals from across the United States. Anne Reiniger, Executive Director of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is the keynote speaker and Rachel Dabraio of the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario, Canada presents first-time government-funded supervised access project. Attendees name the newly formed organization the Supervised Visitation Network (SVN) and Judith Wallach serves as the President. The first edition of Sitting In, the SVN's newsletter is published in September 1992.
1993 Joanne Karolzak hosts Focus on the Future in Tucson, Arizona. Over the year, a convening group writes the first draft of the SVN bylaws and members nominate a 15-member Board of Directors, representing five regions across the state, including international representation. Under the newly formed Board of Directors, Rob Straus is elected as the SVN's President.
1994 Glynne Gervais hosts Supervised Visitation — A New Thread in the Social Service Fabric, from April 14-16 near the west campus of the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois. Participants were given tours of a few supervised visitation/child access agencies. The membership begins discussions to support the development of national standards and guidelines for the organization. In addition, Joanne Karolzak is elected as the SVN's President.
1995 Jane Grafton hosts the first international conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The president convenes the first Annual General Meeting. This conference brings representatives from outside North America, as well as representatives from the Australian & New Zealand Association of Children's Access Services (ANZACAS) present to the membership. The Australians maintain a strong presence at conferences through the coming years. The SVN receives the first draft of Standards and Guidelines, co-authored by Rob Straus, Glynne Gervais, and Hedi Levenback. Anne Reiniger is elected as the SVN's President.
1996 Mike Wilkinson hosts the annual SVN conference in Austin, Texas. Over the year, more than 40 members and multi-disciplinary subject matter experts provide feedback to the draft Standards and Guidelines, which were adopted by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Jane Grafton is elected as the SVN's President.
1997 Barbara Pope and Sheri Kass of Family Connections host the annual SVN conference (May 17-20) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. A sociologist from Rouen, France attends the conference. With special thanks to international faerie godmother, Gillian Mason-Johnson, SVN holds its first annual auction. Nadine Blaschak-Brown is elected as the SVN's President.
1998 Ron Zeno and Dee Davis host Connecting the Pieces on March 26-28 in Oakland, California. The Board of Directors creates a tradition of honoring a person(s) who makes significant contributions to the field of supervised visitation. The award is named after the SVN's first conference host, Judith Wallach. Barbara Pope is elected as the SVN's President.
1999 Scott Hampton hosts Common Ground in Nashua, New Hampshire. This annual conference highlights a Silent Witness Display (honoring victims of domestic violence) and the creation of a Conference Collage made from participants' business cards, program brochures and relevant articles. Scott Hampton is elected as the SVN's President.
2000 Jane Grafton hosts Back to the Future in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A researcher from the Netherlands attends the conference. Nadine Blaschak-Brown is elected as the SVN's President.
2001 Teri Walker McLaughlin and Liz Bedard host Embracing Their Future in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Minnesota Chapter of the SVN unveils the Orange Ribbon Campaign, commemorating May as Supervised Visitation Month. The Board of Directors adopts the idea of a member-driven award, named in memory, and with permission from the family, of Hedi Levenback. Beth Zetlin is elected as the SVN's President.
2002 Sharon Rogers hosts Part of the Solution: Keeping Kids Safe in Destin, Florida. The membership ratifies the SVN bylaws to require a two-year term of presidency that will provide more continuity to the organization. Jane Grafton is elected as the SVN's President.
2003 Valya Roberts and the Ontario Chapter of the SVN host Divided Loyalties in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Conference planners host a fun-filled opening reception with icebreaker games and friendly competition. Despite the SARS scare, the conference is a huge success. Jane Grafton continues her presidency.
2004 Anna Facemire hosts Creating an Oasis: Renewing Families... and Ourselves, May 20-22 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The power of culture is highlighted at this annual conference. The SVN Board of Directors holds its first strategic planning meeting to develop core values, prioritize SVN activities and future direction(s), including revision of the national Standards and Guidelines. Development of training for providers becomes priority goal of the organization. Teri Walker McLaughlin is elected as the SVN's President.
2005 Cynthia Johnson and the Massachusetts Chapter of the SVN, "The Massachusetts Coalition for Supervised Visitation", host Defining Neutrality from Diverse Points of View, from May 26-28 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Providers from Scotland and Ireland participate in the annual conference. Despite gale winds and pouring rain, the participants were moved by luncheon guest speaker, Richard Pelzer who wrote the following (as well as other books): A Brothers Journey ©., A Teenager's Journey©. He is the brother of the author of "A Boy named IT". Teri Walker McLaughlin continues her presidency.
2006 Jody Bittrich and Shannon Wilde host Who's Visit Is It? from May 18-20 in Rapid City, South Dakota. The membership adopts the revised standards, which are now titled, Standards for Supervised Visitation Practice". Valya Roberts is elected as the SVN's President.
2007 Shelly La Botte, Nadine Blaschak-Brown and Sonia Melara host Celebrate-Educate-Innovate, May 9-12 in Millbrae, California. This annual conference is held in conjunction with the Judicial Council, Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, Access to Visitation Grant Program, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary. This conference marks the first time that three federal funding sources attend the conference together: Ministry of the Attorney General Office in Ontario, Canada; federal Office on Violence Against Women (U.S. Department of Justice); and federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Valya Roberts continues her presidency.
2008 The Florida Chapter and the SVN Home Office host It's All About the Links from May 28-31 in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Ashley Rhodes-Courter, a former foster child from Florida, gives an emotional plenary speech about her experiences in supervised visitation and foster care. Jody Bittrich is elected as the SVN's President.
2009 A huge committee of the Ontario Chapter, chaired by Audrey Burnett and Louanne Piper, host Celebrating Diversity in Supervised Visitation from May 27-30 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Diane Benoit, Psychiatrist, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, highlights the conference with a plenary session on the impact of DV on victims and children. The SVN Code of Ethics is adopted unanimously by the Membership. Jody Bittrich continues as the SVN's President.
2010 The Colorado Chapter hosts, "Reaching New Heights" in Denver, Colorado. Aaron Wimmer from Sioux Falls, South Dakota is elected SVN's President.
2011 The Newly Formed Indiana Chapter hosts, "Through the Ryes of a Child" in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aaron Wimmer from Sioux Falls, South Dakota continues SVN's President.
2012 The Florida Chapter hosts, "Celebrating Our past, Forging Our Future" in Orlando, Florida. Jeff Puster from Murphfeesboro, Tennessee is elected SVN's President.
A Chronology of the Judith Wallach President's Award
In 1997-1998 the SVN adopts the tradition of honoring a person or persons for outstanding service and contribution to the Supervised Visitation Network. This award is named in honor of the SVN's first host, Judith Wallach.
1998 Recipient: Rob Straus honored by president, Nadine Blaschak-Brown.
1999 Recipient: Jane Grafton honored by president, Barbara Pope.
2000 Recipient: Nancy Fallows honored by president, Scott Hampton.
2001 Recipients: Minnesota Senator, the Honorable Paul and Mrs. Sheila Wellstone honored by president, Nadine Blaschak-Brown.
2002 Recipient: Randy Fallows honored by president, Beth Zetlin.
2003 Recipient: Judy Newman honored by president, Jane Grafton
2004 Recipients: Karen Oehme and Nadine Blaschak-Brown honored by president, Jane Grafton.
2005 Recipient: Jane Grafton honored by president, Teri Walker McLaughlin.
2006 Recipient: Shelly La Botte honored by president, Teri Walker McLaughlin.
2007 Recipient: The Florida Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation honored by president, Valya Roberts
2008 Recipient: Derrick Green honored by president, Valya Roberts
2009 Recipient: Teri Walker McLaughlin honored by president, Jody Bittrich
2010 Recipient: Rob Straus and Dorie Twist by president, Jody Bittrich
2011 Recipient: Joanne Karolzak by president, Aaron Wimmer
2012 Recipient: Ona Foster and Jody Bittrich honored by president, Jeff Puster
A Chronology of the Hedi Levenback SV Provider of the Year Award
In 2012, this award is established and the SVN membership selects a winner from nominated SVN members, who they feel demonstrated exceptional skills in the delivery and implementation of a supervised visitation program, commitment to the SVN Standards, engagement in SVN and chapter activities/events, and achieved program excellence and innovation. This award is named in honor of one of SVN's early Board Members, Hedi Levenback.
2012 Recipient: Judy Newman, Ontario
This history was researched and compiled by Nadine Blaschak-Brown. Special thanks are extended to the following SVN members for their contributions towards the chronicled history of SVN: Jody Bittrich, Nancy Fallows, Glynne Gervais, Jane Grafton, Cynthia Johnson, Joanne Karolzak, Judy Newman, Sharon Rogers, Valya Roberts, Teri Walker McLaughlin, Shannon Wilde, and Ron Zeno.