Candidate Statement:

Michon Trent

Mobile, Alabama

During your 2+ years of membership in SVN, describe how you have utilized your member benefits. (Networking, training, credential, etc.)

I have personally used the trainings for myself and my staff. The training materials are comprehensive and straightforward, our interns and new staff can learn best practices using the training manuals. The forum provides rich information that we use for training and learning in our staff meetings. The credential that is provided gives us invaluable credibility with referring attorneys and Judges. Parents know that our staff is trained to handle cases of physical abuse, domestic violence, mental health, substance abuse and long absences.

Describe your experience in the field of supervised visitation/parenting time or relevant experience that intersects with the field of supervised visitation?

I began my Social Work practice at a Child Guidance Center as a Graduate level intern who was responsible for providing parenting classes as well as supervision to parent who could not see their children in a supervised setting. Later in my career I would for a Child Protective Services and was responsible for providing supervision to the children on my caseload with their parents who where currently working towards family reunification. Currently in my role as the Executive Director of The Family Center in Mobile Alabama, our agency has been the only source for credentialed supervised visitation and no-contact monitored exchange in the gulf coast region. We provide consultation and assistance to our local attorney’s and judges when it comes to supervised visitation services and documentation.

SVN’s vision statement is: “The Supervised Visitation Network champions a world in which all vulnerable families have access to safe and quality visitation services.” Discuss your commitment to better outcomes for families in consideration of racial, cultural, socio-economic, gender equity and ability/disability.

Families are the core of our communities, and it is important that all agencies that touch families have a real understanding of culture, economics and gender and disability and how those play into family dynamics. As providers we also must ensure we consider that families know their family best and any service plan must be as unique as the families themselves. When this is done then we know that the family plan will strengthen the family.

What do you envision as the primary function of the position you are seeking and what skills, talent and experiences do you have that would most benefit SVN (and ultimately the membership) if elected to the position?

This position will provide me with the ability to bring more visibility to the need for credential, experience providers who understand the role of the supervisor as one who ensures the safety of children and parents who have been involved in physical abuse, domestic violence situations or how untreated mental health issues and substance abuse affect families. I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience of Social Work practice that has allowed me to teach and mentor staff. I have served on professional statewide boards which helps me to understand how important it is to have representatives from your regional community.

Regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, what strategy(s) would you utilize to effectively engage in dialogue with the membership?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the core to the work that we do, and it would be important for us to discuss and have open dialogue about transference and counter transference and how we relate to others unlike ourselves. I would want to host panels of diverse individuals and families who have life experiences that can enlighten and encourage our membership to think more broadly.

In what local, national, state, or provincial organizations (coalitions, groups, or task forces) outside of SVN or your current employer are you involved that would enhance the Networks goals?

I am a member of the National Association of the Social Workers, Coalition Against Bullying, Council Against Family Violence, Children’s Policy Council of Baldwin and Mobile County, Homeless Coalition, Member of the Children’s Trust Fund, and in addition to these I previously served in many community leadership roles including service on the statewide boards of Alabama Humanities Foundation as Chairman, Secretary of Voices for Alabama’s Children’s, and on the local boards of BankOn South Alabama, Distinguished Young Women, United Way Women’s Initiative, and Mobile Community Action, Inc., and I have served on the boards of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama, Providence Hospital Foundation, Family Promise and Historic Mobile Preservation Society.