Lacking State Funding, Supervised Visitation Center In Lebanon Ends Services For N.H. Families | New Hampshire Public Radio

Lacking State Funding, Supervised Visitation Center In Lebanon Ends Services For N.H. Families

Apr 28, 2020

One of New Hampshire’s three supervised visitation centers is ending its services for families in the Upper Valley.

Waypoint in Lebanon provided supervised visits so that kids could see their non-custodial parents. These visits are often arranged for families affected by domestic violence, mental illness or a contentious divorce.

Jeannette Birge is the director of supervised visitation for Waypoint. She says her organization has relied solely on charitable donations to fund services for New Hampshire families, and she was hoping that Waypoint would get funding from the state this year instead.

"We were losing money,” she said. “We thought the New Hampshire money was going to come through. We had budgeted that for this year. Then it didn't. So the program is in the red."

It costs about $150,000 a year to run the center. She says this is really hard for the ten New Hampshire families that used the program every week.

“The families are devastated,” she said. “Particularly the non-custodial parents who counted on this time to see their child or their children every week.”

But Birge says Waypoint will continue to provide services to Vermont families in the Upper Valley, since that state does providing funding for the supervised visitation program.