SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — This week’s murder of three children and a family friend during a court-ordered custody visit with the girls’ father raised a lot of questions about the potential dangers of supervised visitations. 

“A lot of the parents feel that their rights have been violated that they have to visit their children the way that they do,” explained Cynthia Wojtas, a professional monitor with Collaborative Supervised Visitation.

That’s why the office of Collaborative Supervised Visitation also comes with a safe room, more than one exit and, at times, a guard. Those are just a few of the precautions Wojtas takes when supervising visits between parents and their children as ordered by local judges.

“No matter how nice the parent is, no matter how long I’ve known the parent, at any time that can change because we’re dealing with their children,” Wojtas said.

In light of Monday’s murders that have the Arden-Arcade community still reeling, FOX40 asked Wojtas to detail how professional visitation protocols might differ from the less formal visitation that happened at The Church in Sacramento. That’s where the three Mora-Gutierrez sisters had what records show was a court-sanctioned visit with their father, supervised by a family friend.

Wojtas said her protocol is to start visits as a one-on-one with the parent.

“We have the visiting parent come to the office and they arrive 15 minutes early and we assess them the best we can, whether they’re under the influence, depressed, angry,” she explained. “And if any of those appear, we text the custodial and say, ‘Don’t bring the children. There’s not going to be a visit.’”  

She said she also sets up a secret signal with the children.

“If at any time during the visit they become upset or scared or just want to talk about something, then the child and I go somewhere else away from the parent and talk about it,” Wojtas said. 

Unlike some professional visitation services, Wojtas said she also conducts them in public places like parks. Others have an office-visit-only policy and include security measures like metal detectors and armed guards. 

But that doesn’t come cheap. Wojtas said parents using professional services should expect to pay $50 to $120 an hour, and sometimes will have to pay per child. 

Joe Nullet, the executive director of the Supervised Visitation Network, a national group of professional providers, said cost should not be a barrier to families getting professional help.

“There are communities across the United States where they value this service and they’ve made them free or affordable,” Nullet told FOX40. “Our organization is working to educate communities, courts and legislators that this is really important.”

Wojtas has no way of knowing how things took such a violent turn Monday. But for any nonprofessionals lending a hand during supervised visitations, she reminds them never to let their guard down.   

“Just please, even if it’s a sister or brother or anybody, just understand that this could happen,” she said.