The goal of Project Access is to improve non-custodial parents’ access to and visitation with their children, and improve their ability and willingness to participate fully in financially supporting their children and being part of their lives in meaningful, responsible ways. Services to families include a combination of mediation, counseling, education, development of parenting plans, and visitation enforcement through supervised visitation, and monitored child exchange.
In New York State today, over 40% of children are born out-of-wedlock with most being raised in single parent households. The ongoing emotional and financial needs of children in separated families can become ignored or disregarded. This outcome is particularly common if the parties are in conflict over parental access to, and visitation with, the children and over decisions regarding parenting roles including the payment of child support. Furthermore, in a significant number of these families, domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, and/or mental health issues may also compromise the quality of the child’s environment and impair his/her development.
Evidence suggests that children raised in single parent homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. In addition, boys are more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens. The positive influence a noncustodial parent can have on a child’s well-being and development is invaluable. With diligence, care and cooperation, parents that live separately can achieve the same nurturing environment for their children as parents living together.