Nichole Compton is an entrepreneur who just started another venture called Ace's Place. It is a supervised visitation and exchange center for children who have parents that are divorced, don't get along, are court-ordered to the center or the parents have lost custody. We have conducted an interview with her.
Who is Ace's Place for?
Not all families are healthy. At times, the courts step in and remove custody from one or both parents, requiring supervised visitation. Sometimes, divorce or domestic violence prevent parents from interacting with each other but the children still need to see their parents. Ace's Place is a 3rd party supervised visitation & exchange center, providing a place for noncustodial parents to safely visit their children, participate in interactive family activities and attend parenting workshops. Ace's Place is the safest place for families who need supervised visitation & exchange center services. Ace’s Place is child-center and family focused. We are dedicated to providing safe exchanges, third party supervised visitation and educational sessions for families, custodians and parents.
Why is this place important for children?
It is not always desired but sometimes a reality that children involved in domestic violence situations, broken or divorced families, child abuse and/or court matters require supervised visitation or monitored exchanges. For about a decade, the owner and founder of Ace's Place worked as an attorney in family court involving child abuse, custody and divorce matters. She saw first-hand how hard and sometimes impossible it can be to find an appropriate and court-approved 3rd party to supervise visitation or monitor and facilitate child exchanges.
Many times, no matter what the circumstances, even in abuse situations or after nasty divorces, children love their parents unconditionally and benefit from spending time with their parents.
In healthy settings, it can be very beneficial for children to have contact with their parents. Ace’s Place helps effectuate that and foster healthy relationships and quality visitation and parenting time, thereby helping make a positive difference for the family and children alike.
How does the scheduling works?
First, either one or both of the parents contacts Ace’s Place by phone or online. Parents have the convenience of scheduling their intake directly on the website. Sometimes, the family court judge or a family court support worker will refer a family. An intake interview is set up, where the parent fills out important paperwork so the staff at Ace’s Place can ascertain the family’s needs and the process can be explained. Then a schedule can be set. If there is a court-order visitation or exchange schedule in place, then we follow that to a tee. If not, then the parents agree on times.
Ace’s Place has flexible scheduling. Parents can schedule their exchanges for just about any time. If they need supervised visits, the main hours are Wednesday 4pm to 8pm, Friday 4pm-8pm, Saturday 10am to 8pm, and Sunday 10am to 8pm. All other times for the mornings and evenings are available but by appointment.
Which special qualities do the service staff possess? What criteria do you use to recruit them?
Ace’s Place was started by a licensed attorney with a decade of family court experience and almost 9 years of as a parents’ attorney / guardian ad litem contracted by the state to represent parents and guardians involved in child abuse cases. Not all but many court orders from visitation stem from those cases. She collaborated with social workers and professional security guards and a retired sheriff to create Ace’s Place. The staff mostly consists of them. Additionally, the founder is also court approved to be a supervisor and guardian. She knows what is needed and expected in these delicate situations. Each staff member was hand-picked by her for their special education training or work experience with families, custody, child abuse and divorce situations.
The staff at ACE's Place - Supervised Visitation & Exchange Center takes careful measures to ensure every child's safety during each exchange. We have retired officers and professional security personnel on site. Our goal is to make exchanges fast, easy, safe and convenient for everyone involved. We ensure at each visitation, parents understand how to nurture their children and spend quality parenting time with their children.
What other collateral services are provided?
Ace’s Place goes above and beyond to create healthy families, no matter how diverse or unique the situation. Ace’s Place offers interactive parenting sessions before each visit, to show parents creative and healthy ways to interact with their children during the visit. Ace’s Place also offers crafts and educational hands-on activities for the parents and children to do together during the visit, allowing takeaways and mementos for both. Cooperative parenting classes designed to show estranged parents how to collaborate to effectively and peacefully coexist as co-parents. Traditional parenting classes to show new parents or concerned parents how to improve parenting skills for the appropriate stages of childhood development. Other seminars and classes will also be offered throughout the year on various topics.
Ace’s Place will soon also be offering F.I.T. (families in transition) divorce education classes, a support group for parents who have lost custody and abusive parenting classes.
Ace’s Place also has a small library and clothes closet for the families and children of Ace’s Place. Kids are allowed to check out books weekly when they come and are encouraged to read to and with their parents while they are visiting as well. We also provide a separate space specifically for reading with your child and another room dedicated specifically for homework to be completed, equipped with computer and internet access, a printer and homework supplies.
How else are you working on to become a nonprofit?
Ace’s Foundation is already in the process of being created. This foundation will offer scholarships for parents who need financial assistance. It will allow Ace’s Place to provide sliding scale fees to low-income families. We want to ensure we are not leaving any family behind who may need our services. We need to raise about $1200 more to make this happen. So we are currently fundraising on gofund.me. To help by contributing, please visit the website www.AcesPlace.org. We are also accepting donations of books and crafts for the library and center.
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