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March 2020Vol. 21, No. 2Georgia Family Time Practice Guide

The Court Improvement Initiative of the Georgia Supreme Court's Committee on Justice for Children published a comprehensive, evidence-based guide to family time for children in foster care that emphasizes the need for and benefit of individualized plans. Families spending time together is an important aspect of maintaining familial bonds when children and relatives are apart and reducing the time children and youth spend in out-of-home care.

This guide is an update from a 2004 practice model developed by a visitation protocol workgroup. It outlines core values of family time, including the following:

  • Family time should be individualized, flexible, and evolving.
  • Family time must not be used as a threat, discipline, or reward.
  • Family time is essential to strengthening child-parent bonds and minimizing time in care.

It also offers suggestions for the frequency and duration of visits according to developmental stages and circumstances and a Family Time Decision Model to be used by child welfare professionals when planning family time.

Read the Georgia Family Time Practice Guide: A Guide to Providing Appropriate Family Time for Children in Foster Care at