communicating with the Women Offender Sector to support the establishment of new Child link community sites, informing the Sector as required for authorizations of Child Link stations, or for inquiries related to Child Link
ensuring a process is in place for scheduling, facilitating and documenting the outcome of Child Link visits
coordinating, in collaboration with Visits and Correspondence, the use of Child Link
facilitating Child Link sessions
completing Child Link tracking sheets for videos completed
to identify the location of equipment for Child Link in the institution
ensure the Visitor Handbook and Inmate Handbook contain information related to Child Link accessibility at the institution
approve the use of the Child Link stations for activities directly related to the inmate's Correctional Plan that involve individuals other than minor children and their accompanying adult.
Visits and Correspondence staff will process visiting applications in accordance with CD 559 - Visits, which will be applicable to Child Link sessions as part of the same process as for approving accompanying adults and minor children and notifying visitors and inmates.
Minor children, with an accompanying adult, are eligible to participate in Child Link if they are approved for any type of visits with the inmate in accordance with CD 559 - Visits.
In cases where a child welfare agency is involved, institutions are to follow their existing procedures for approval and coordination of visits, which may include the use of Child Link.
An inmate's child who is above the age of majority may be approved by the institutional Visits Review Board on a case-by-case basis to participate in Child Link.
USE OF CHILD LINK STATIONS FOR OTHER PURPOSES
The use of Child Link stations is allowed for the purposes of contact with the community related to an inmate transfer or release pursuant to section 81 or 84 of the CCRA.
The use of Child Link stations may be authorized by the Institutional Head for other community contacts that support the inmate's progress or reintegration.
Communications Between Institutions/Community Sites and the Women Offender Sector
All communications between institutions/community sites and the Women Offender Sector regarding any aspects of the Child Link initiative (e.g. enquiries, requests for approval of new community sites, responses to enquiries, transmittal of Child Link tracking sheets) may be done through the Mother-Child Program general email boxes, i.e.MCP-PME.GEN-NHQ@csc-scc.gc.ca (external partners) or GEN-NHQ MCP-PME (internal CSC).
Approval and Scheduling
Applications for the use of Child Link will be processed as per the normal visiting application process at the institution and in accordance with CD 559 - Visits.
The visitor will book the visit, in accordance with the procedures identified by the institution, specifying it is a Child Link session and indicating the community site he/she is requesting to attend.
Child Link visits may occur outside regular visiting hours for the institution, but will be scheduled as operationally feasible for the institution and community site.
Upon receipt of the request from a visitor, and in accordance with the procedures identified by the institution, the staff member designated to schedule Child Link sessions will:
verify the visiting status of the accompanying adult and ensure that the appropriate documentation is on file for the minor child
contact the community site to schedule the Child Link session, providing the names of both the child and accompanying adult, and send the WebEx invitation
confirm to the accompanying adult the scheduling of the session, or in cases where it cannot be scheduled as requested, arrange an alternate time and/or date
communicate that the session is scheduled as per the institutional procedures
notify the visitor and community site in the event that a Child Link session is cancelled.
Child Link Session Procedures (Institution)
The staff member identified in the institutional procedures to facilitate the Child Link sessions will:
initiate the Child Link session at the scheduled date and time, by logging on to the designated computer
confirm the computer settings at the start of each session
remove the keyboard and mouse to ensure that inmates only have access to a monitor with a headset, microphone and webcam (if required), unless they are under the direct supervision of a staff member for the duration of the visit
ensure that a connection is made with the community site prior to leaving the inmate to participate in the Child Link session.
Child Link Session Procedures (Community Site)
When the accompanying adult arrives at the community site, his/her identification will be verified. Other verifications may be required in accordance with the community site's policies.
The Child Link community site will:
ensure a sign is posted in both official languages at the location of the Child Link station to remind visitors that privacy cannot be guaranteed and that the accompanying adult is to remain with the child during the visit
log into the WebEx session
advise the visitors of the procedure to follow if they wish to end the visit early
ensure the accompanying adult remains with the child during the Child Link session as he/she is responsible for the supervision of the child.
Procedures Following the Child Link Session
Community sites will inform the institution of any observations or concerns related to the Child Link session.
Institutional staff will report any observations or concerns through the normal reporting procedures of the institution and take action as appropriate.
The individual who facilitates the Child Link session at the institution will ensure the staff member designated to complete the Child Link tracking sheet is aware of the outcome and/or completion of the session.
The session will be entered on the tracking sheet by the designated staff member.
Accompanying adult: within the context of the Child Link initiative, an accompanying adult can be anyone who has reached the age of majority of the province where the community site is located, is an approved visitor, and has obtained a signed authorization from the custodial non-inmate guardian/parent.
Child Link: a CSC video visitation program considered a non-residential component of the Mother-Child Program, which allows women inmates to communicate with children in the community using video conferencing technology (WebEx).
Child Link community site: a location in the community authorized to facilitate Child Link sessions by having children and accompanying adults attend their location for the Child Link session. This site can be a CSC community site or a non-CSC location such as a community organization or community-run facility. Private residences cannot be approved as a community site.
Child Link session: a visitation between approved individuals as outlined in these guidelines that occurs using WebEx technology.
Child Link station: the computer utilized in the institution or community site for the purposes of facilitating Child Link.
Child welfare agency: the provincial agency that has the authority for child welfare matters, in the province where the institution is located, in accordance with the applicable provincial legislation.