A Chronology of the Supervised Visitation Network

1992 Judith Wallach of the New York Society for Ethical Culture hosts a one day meeting, attended by 40 providers and interested professionals from across the United States. Anne Reiniger, Executive Director of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is the keynote speaker and Rachel Dabraio of the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario, Canada presents first-time government-funded supervised access project. Attendees name the newly formed organization the Supervised Visitation Network (SVN) and Judith Wallach serves as the President. The first edition of Sitting In, the SVN's newsletter is published in September 1992.

1993 Joanne Karolzak hosts Focus on the Future in Tucson, Arizona. Over the year, a convening group writes the first draft of the SVN bylaws and members nominate a 15-member Board of Directors, representing five regions across the state, including international representation. Under the newly formed Board of Directors, Rob Straus is elected as the SVN's President.

1994 Glynne Gervais hosts Supervised Visitation — A New Thread in the Social Service Fabric, from April 14-16 near the west campus of the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois. Participants were given tours of a few supervised visitation/child access agencies. The membership begins discussions to support the development of national standards and guidelines for the organization. In addition, Joanne Karolzak is elected as the SVN's President.

1995 Jane Grafton hosts the first international conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The president convenes the first Annual General Meeting. This conference brings representatives from outside North America, as well as representatives from the Australian & New Zealand Association of Children's Access Services (ANZACAS) present to the membership. The Australians maintain a strong presence at conferences through the coming years. The SVN receives the first draft of Standards and Guidelines, co-authored by Rob Straus, Glynne Gervais, and Hedi Levenback. Anne Reiniger is elected as the SVN's President.

1996 Mike Wilkinson hosts the annual SVN conference in Austin, Texas. Over the year, more than 40 members and multi-disciplinary subject matter experts provide feedback to the draft Standards and Guidelines, which were adopted by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Jane Grafton is elected as the SVN's President.

1997 Barbara Pope and Sheri Kass of Family Connections host the annual SVN conference (May 17-20) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. A sociologist from Rouen, France attends the conference. With special thanks to international faerie godmother, Gillian Mason-Johnson, SVN holds its first annual auction. Nadine Blaschak-Brown is elected as the SVN's President.

1998 Ron Zeno and Dee Davis host Connecting the Pieces on March 26-28 in Oakland, California. The Board of Directors creates a tradition of honoring a person(s) who makes significant contributions to the field of supervised visitation. The award is named after the SVN's first conference host, Judith Wallach. Barbara Pope is elected as the SVN's President.

1999 Scott Hampton hosts Common Ground in Nashua, New Hampshire. This annual conference highlights a Silent Witness Display (honoring victims of domestic violence) and the creation of a Conference Collage made from participants' business cards, program brochures and relevant articles. Scott Hampton is elected as the SVN's President.

2000 Jane Grafton hosts Back to the Future in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A researcher from the Netherlands attends the conference. Nadine Blaschak-Brown is elected as the SVN's President.

2001 Teri Walker McLaughlin and Liz Bedard host Embracing Their Future in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Minnesota Chapter of the SVN unveils the Orange Ribbon Campaign, commemorating May as Supervised Visitation Month. The Board of Directors adopts the idea of a member-driven award, named in memory, and with permission from the family, of Hedi Levenback. Beth Zetlin is elected as the SVN's President.

2002 Sharon Rogers hosts Part of the Solution: Keeping Kids Safe in Destin, Florida. The membership ratifies the SVN bylaws to require a two-year term of presidency that will provide more continuity to the organization. Jane Grafton is elected as the SVN's President.

2003 Valya Roberts and the Ontario Chapter of the SVN host Divided Loyalties in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Conference planners host a fun-filled opening reception with icebreaker games and friendly competition. Despite the SARS scare, the conference is a huge success. Jane Grafton continues her presidency.

2004 Anna Facemire hosts Creating an Oasis: Renewing Families... and Ourselves, May 20-22 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The power of culture is highlighted at this annual conference. The SVN Board of Directors holds its first strategic planning meeting to develop core values, prioritize SVN activities and future direction(s), including revision of the national Standards and Guidelines. Development of training for providers becomes priority goal of the organization. Teri Walker McLaughlin is elected as the SVN's President.

2005 Cynthia Johnson and the Massachusetts Chapter of the SVN, "The Massachusetts Coalition for Supervised Visitation", host Defining Neutrality from Diverse Points of View, from May 26-28 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Providers from Scotland and Ireland participate in the annual conference. Despite gale winds and pouring rain, the participants were moved by luncheon guest speaker, Richard Pelzer who wrote the following (as well as other books): A Brothers Journey ©., A Teenager's Journey©. He is the brother of the author of "A Boy named IT". Teri Walker McLaughlin continues her presidency.

2006 Jody Bittrich and Shannon Wilde host Who's Visit Is It? from May 18-20 in Rapid City, South Dakota. The membership adopts the revised standards, which are now titled, Standards for Supervised Visitation Practice". Valya Roberts is elected as the SVN's President.

2007 Shelly La Botte, Nadine Blaschak-Brown and Sonia Melara host Celebrate-Educate-Innovate, May 9-12 in Millbrae, California. This annual conference is held in conjunction with the Judicial Council, Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, Access to Visitation Grant Program, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary. This conference marks the first time that three federal funding sources attend the conference together: Ministry of the Attorney General Office in Ontario, Canada; federal Office on Violence Against Women (U.S. Department of Justice); and federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Valya Roberts continues her presidency.

2008 The Florida Chapter and the SVN Home Office host It's All About the Links from May 28-31 in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Ashley Rhodes-Courter, a former foster child from Florida, gives an emotional plenary speech about her experiences in supervised visitation and foster care. Jody Bittrich is elected as the SVN's President.

2009 A huge committee of the Ontario Chapter, chaired by Audrey Burnett and Louanne Piper, host Celebrating Diversity in Supervised Visitation from May 27-30 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Diane Benoit, Psychiatrist, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, highlights the conference with a plenary session on the impact of DV on victims and children. The SVN Code of Ethics is adopted unanimously by the Membership. Jody Bittrich continues as the SVN's President.

2010 The Colorado Chapter hosts, "Reaching New Heights" in Denver, Colorado. Aaron Wimmer from Sioux Falls, South Dakota is elected SVN's President.

2011 The Newly Formed Indiana Chapter hosts, "Through the Eyes of a Child" in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aaron Wimmer from Sioux Falls, South Dakota continues SVN's President.

2012 The Florida Chapter hosts, "Celebrating Our past, Forging Our Future" in Orlando, Florida. Jeff Puster from Murphfeesboro, Tennessee is elected SVN's President.

2013 The Ontario Chapter hosts, "Connecting the Dots" in Toronto, Ontario. Jeff Puster from Murphfeesboro, Tennessee contiues as SVN's President.

2014 The State of New Mexico hosts "The Changing Landscape of Families" in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Christina Coultas from Dallas, Texas is elected as SVN's President.

2015 The State of Florida hosts, ""Innovation, Integration, and Intervention"" in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Christina Coultas continues as SVN's President.

2016 The State of California hosts, the 25th Annual Conference in San Diego, Ca. Kathy Lotsos is elected as SVN's President.

2017 San Antonio, Texas hosts, the 26th Annual Conference, “Many Voices, One Shared Vision” Ashley Rhodes-Courter returns as a plenary Speaker, and the Networking Group concept is officially launched. Kelley Beckett, who became President when Kathy Lotsos left the field, continues as SVN's President.

2018 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida hosts, the 27th Annual Conference, “Global Collaboration, Global Success” Jody Bittrich from Denver, Colorado assumes the role of SVN's President.

2019 New Orleans, LA hosts, the 28th Annual Conference, "Recipe for Success" Jody Bittrich from Denver, Colorado continues as SVN's President.

2020 Due to the cancellation of the in person event in Newport Beach, CA, the SVN Annual Conference was held for the first time on a virtual platform which enabled over 350 SV providers and advocates to attend. Rob Straus continues to serve as SVN's President.

2021 Bellevue, Washington hosts the first ever SVN Hybrid Annual Conference. Rob Straus continues to serve as SVN's President until the Virtual SVN AGM on October 15th, 2021.


 2022 Orlando, Florida Hosts the highest attended conference in SVN History with over 370 total attendees. Howard Yaffe assumed the role of President at the October AGM Meeting.

2023 Newport Beach, California hosts another successful Hybrid Annual Conference. Lori Wymore-Kirkland assumed the role of President at the October AGM Meeting


A Chronology of the Judith Wallach President's Award

In 1997-1998 the SVN adopts the tradition of honoring a person or persons for outstanding service and contribution to the Supervised Visitation Network. This award is named in honor of the SVN's first host, Judith Wallach.

1998 Recipient: Rob Straus honored by president, Nadine Blaschak-Brown.

1999 Recipient: Jane Grafton honored by president, Barbara Pope.

2000 Recipient: Nancy Fallows honored by president, Scott Hampton.

2001 Recipients: Minnesota Senator, the Honorable Paul and Mrs. Sheila Wellstone honored by president, Nadine Blaschak-Brown.

2002 Recipient: Randy Fallows honored by president, Beth Zetlin.

2003 Recipient: Judy Newman honored by president, Jane Grafton

2004 Recipients: Karen Oehme and Nadine Blaschak-Brown honored by president, Jane Grafton.

2005 Recipient: Jane Grafton honored by president, Teri Walker McLaughlin.

2006 Recipient: Shelly La Botte honored by president, Teri Walker McLaughlin.

2007 Recipient: The Florida Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation honored by president, Valya Roberts

2008 Recipient: Derrick Green honored by president, Valya Roberts

2009 Recipient: Teri Walker McLaughlin honored by president, Jody Bittrich

2010 Recipient: Rob Straus and Dorie Twist by president, Jody Bittrich

2011 Recipient: Joanne Karolzak by president, Aaron Wimmer

2012 Recipient: Ona Foster and Jody Bittrich honored by president, Aaron Wimmer

2013 Recipient: Aaron Wimmer honored by president, Jeff Puster

2014 Recipient: Kathy Spurgin honored by president, Jeff Puster

2015 Recipient: Vera Institute of Justice is honored by president, Christina Coultas

2016 Recipient: Pamela Guedry is honored by president, Christina Coultas

2017 Recipient: Kathy Lotsos is honored by president, Kelley Beckett

2018 Recipient: Heather Molesworth is honored by president, Kelley Beckett

2019 Recipient: No Award was given in 2019

2020 Recipient: Emilyn Haugen and Lori Wymore-Kirkland

2021 Recipient: Executive Director Joe Nullet

2022 Recipient: Valya Roberts

2023 Recipient Howard Yaffe

A Chronology of the Hedi Levenback SV Provider of the Year Award

In 2012, this award is established and the SVN membership selects a winner from nominated SVN members, who they feel demonstrated exceptional skills in the delivery and implementation of a supervised visitation program, commitment to the SVN Standards, engagement in SVN and chapter activities/events, and achieved program excellence and innovation. This award is named in honor of one of SVN's early Board Members, Hedi Levenback.

2012 Recipient: Judy Newman, Ontario

2013 Recipient: Dalhousie Place, Ontario

2014 Recipient: The New York Society for the Protection of Children (NYSPCC)

2015 Recipient: Casa De Los Ninos, Tucson, AZ

2016 Recipient: Kymari House, Murfreesboro, TN

2017 Recipient: Alaska Family Services, Palmer, AK

2018 Recipient: Daniella Bozur, Hamilton, Ontario

2019 Recipient: Solomon Family Services, Cleveland, TN

2020 Recipient: The Children's Haven-WellStar Family Visitation Program, Canton, GA

2021 Recipient: Chaves County CASA Program Visitation Center

2022 Recipient: Family and Community Resources, Inc. Brockton, MA

2023 Recipient Brightside Child & Family Advocacy's Bright House  Savannah, GA


This history was researched and compiled by Nadine Blaschak-Brown. Special thanks are extended to the following SVN members for their contributions towards the chronicled history of SVN: Jody Bittrich, Nancy Fallows, Glynne Gervais, Jane Grafton, Cynthia Johnson, Joanne Karolzak, Judy Newman, Sharon Rogers, Valya Roberts, Teri Walker McLaughlin, Shannon Wilde, and Ron Zeno.