T he Winnipeg Children’s Access Agency Inc. (WCAA) was established in 1996 in response to an identified need for supervised parent-child access services. Initially, visits facilitated through the agency were monitored by paid contract supervisors and took place in the community or in the visiting parent’s own home. The fee charged for this service was $13.00 per hour.
In response to the inability of some parents to afford associated service fees, the Temporary Access Program (TAP) was created to offer services to families free of charge. While TAP relied on donated space in a local day care center and monitors volunteered their time, the program was nonetheless difficult to sustain in the absence of ongoing financial support.
In 1998, proposals to provide parent-child access services in the Thompson, Brandon, and Winnipeg areas were solicited by the Province of Manitoba under the Department of Family Services & Housing. In 1999, WCAA was awarded the contract to provide services in the Winnipeg area and entered into a funding agreement with the province’s Family Violence Prevention Program. Government support for supervised access services was based largely on recommendations generated through a commission of inquiry into the 1995 murder-suicide of a Winnipeg couple, Rhonda and Roy Lavoie.
WCAA is a not-for-profit, charitable organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The agency’s personnel complement is a mix of paid staff, volunteer monitors, and post secondary students completing practicum placements. WCAA has an informal Advisory Committee comprised of relevant community stakeholders who offer additional supports and guidance.