In 1999 the Sioux Falls Child Protection Council (CPC) was observing an increase of service providers in South Dakota and the region offering a safe place for kids visiting their parents or other non-custodial adults. Upon further investigation into this emerging practice of supervised visitation the local CPC approached Avera McKennan, Volunteer’s of America-Dakotas, and Children’s Inn to discuss starting a program in Sioux Falls. The three partner agencies eagerly signed on to bring a much need service to Sioux Falls. With Avera McKennan leading the efforts, the Family Visitation Center (FVC) opened in September 2000 as a program of Avera McKennan. The program was located at 3928 S. Western Ave. in Sioux Falls, SD in a 1300 sq ft. leased facility.
The rapidly growing need for a safe setting during supervised visitation focused on children, quickly launched the Family Visitation Center into a regional provider of supervised visitation and safe exchanges. The FVC has grown from providing 1,071 hours of service in 2001 to over 3,900 hours of service in 2015. Over 3,000 children have benefited from having a place where they can create positive memories with a parent.
As the demand for FVC programming continued to grow so did the demand on the resources available to the organization. In 2007 the FVC Advisory Board began to look at all options to ensure long term programmatic and financial sustainability. With the assistance of community leaders, the partner agencies, referral sources, and other invested individuals and organizations the Family Visitation Center officially became incorporated as a 501 (c)3 agency on October 30, 2008. A founding Board of Directors was elected and the Board assumed responsibility from Avera McKennan for the program on January 1, 2009.
Today the Family Visitation Center is located at 311 E. 14th St. in downtown Sioux Falls where an average of 125 families access our programs each month. FVC continues to be a leader in the field of supervised visitation and exchanges as well as continually looking at other programming to meet the needs of those served.