Candidate Statement

Yvonne Draxler

Sterling, Colorado

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

Being a member of the Supervised Visitation Network has equipped Family Resource Center to be a leader in supervised visits and safe exchanges in our region. The extensive trainings completed and compliance with the SVN knowledge of the Standards for Supervised Visitation Practice have enabled us to make quality presentations to judges and community partners. Our close working relationship with local judges has reduced vague wording in orders from the court and makes parental expectations clear from the beginning. The SVN Code of Ethics guides our Hand In Hand Program. Of additional benefit is the opportunity SVN has afforded to our Center by connecting us to the regional SVN group that meets quarterly in Denver. 

Describe your experience in the field of supervised visitation or relevant experience that intersects with the field of supervised visitation.

I have been involved in the world of supervised visits since 2010 when I began working at Family Resource Center. I assisted in monitoring visits and met with families to discuss their satisfaction with the Hand In Hand Supervised Visitation program. Since 2016 I have coordinated and supervised the program at our Center. Under my leadership the program has extended to provide services to families as far away as Cheyenne, Wyoming and southwestern Nebraska. Our Center conducts visits/safe exchanges for approximately 70 children each year, allowing parents and children to maintain a healthy relationship with one another. Our Center has been voted Best Non-profit in our area for two years running. 

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.

At our Center we are currently completing an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan in cooperation with the Colorado Health Foundation and the Family Resource Center Association. As part of our plan we started addressing this by helping employees understand how individuals are impacted by unconscious bias, and what actions continue to reinforce biases. We have built awareness and addressed unconscious bias by encouraging every employee to review, question, and analyze their own personal biases and assumptions. We underscored the importance of leaders and employees keeping a thought journal to process their own biases. Recording instances of stereotyping as they occur have helped us become more aware as we start to make those biases more conscious. This has helped us observe when we begin to stereotype individuals so we can refute and replace biases. Cultural humility is another way we have managed bias and fostered more inclusive environments. This concept involves remaining curious and humble about cultural differences. Our Center emphasizes the importance of understanding that no one is an expert, but is on a continuous learning journey when it comes to respecting and embracing other people's experiences and realities. It is our belief that becoming culturally competent is a lifelong practice. Additionally, we have leveraged technology and training that provides guidance on actions for moving forward.


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?

I believe integrity, competence, insight, dedication, and effectiveness are vital. I possess a deep interest in the mission of SVN and have the ability to see the big picture and the courage to set direction to achieve the organization’s mission. My integrity will serve the interests and pursue the goals of SVN, as well as the interests of the public and SVN’s members. Knowledge of SVN constituents and operations and organizational structure enable me to serve well. I will remain dedicated and committed to fulfilling your SVN’s goals and I possess a sincere and respectful attitude toward fellow colleagues and their views. Additionally, I maintain confidentiality. I will bring my personal experiences and expertise with supervised visitation/safe exchanges and supervision of employees to the SVN Board of Directors, and will come to meetings on time, be attentive and well-prepared, respect disagreement without personalizing the debate, and avoid paralysis in the face of dissent. I will also ask questions rather than accepting the status quo, welcome information and advice, and make decisions based on our collective best judgment.

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

Our institutional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan calls for us to create opportunities for this sort of thoughtful dialogue and engagement. The work to create opportunities for effective discussions about difficult issues is not easy, nor is the path towards deeper engagement with these issues always clear. But the work is necessary if we are to respond to the needs of our families and help to create the community we would like to see in northeastern Colorado. We are committed to effective dialogue and this commitment transfers into all the work we do at our Center, including representation on Boards. 

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 on the Board of Directors of Help for Abused Partners, our local domestic violence agency. Through this work, I play an important role in the movement to end domestic violence in our rural northeastern part of Colorado. With authority to create policy within the agency, I, along with my fellow board members, occupy a unique position that requires special attention be paid to the realities of relationship abuse.