The Judges' Page newsletter is published by the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Family Drug Treatment Courts
J. Dean Lewis, Judge (retired)
What is a family drug treatment court (FDTC) and how is it different from the traditional dependency court process? Is FDTC an effective use of the limited resources available to courts, attorneys, CASA programs and public and private agencies charged with the responsibility of ensuring reasonable efforts, child safety, permanency and well-being in abuse and neglect cases? The answers to these questions and more will be answered in this issue of The Judges' Page.
Articles in This Issue
The Association Between Substance Abuse and Child Welfare and Research-Based Interventions
Summary: The author describes why collaborative approaches such as family drug treatment courts outperform traditional child welfare and dependency court systems in terms of child protection, parental rehabilitation and reunification.
Addressing the Needs of Families Affected by Substance Abuse in the Child Welfare System
Summary: The author reviews the performance of family drug courts from a national perspective and shares FDTC Guidelines, a resource that focuses on implementing evidence-based or evidence-informed practices in FDTC.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance Drug Court Technical Assistance Project at American University: An Important Resource for Family Drug Treatment Courts
Summary: The author and her staff share resources available to FDTC through this federal program at American University.
Zero to Three Family Drug Treatment Court and Other Musings for a Better Court Response to Infants and Toddlers
Summary: The author describes why he is committed to sustaining and expanding a family drug treatment court focusing on permanency for infants and toddlers while addressing parental recovery.
Family Drug Court Improves Outcomes and Saves Public Money
Summary: The following report by Judge Michael Clark was made to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors both to give them an idea of how important the family wellness court was in the community and to ask for continued support for the wellness court from the board.
The Creation of a Family Mental Health Court
Summary: The author describes the creation of a family drug court 20 years ago under the Model Court Project of NCJFCJ and gives insight into the needs of parents with dual diagnosis.
Dependency Drug Court Demonstrates Success with Evidence-Based Holistic Interventions
Summary: The author shares a program unique to Miami, the Engaging Moms casework model, which has increased the likelihood of positive child welfare outcomes when compared to standard drug court case management.
Strategies for Successful Rural Drug Courts
Summary: The author shares his experiences and challenges operating a FDTC serving a rural population with limited resources.
Focusing on Infants and Toddlers in Family Drug Treatment Court
Summary: The author describes how their dependency drug treatment court leveraged partnerships and resources to obtain positive results for children and families in Santa Clara.
Summary: The author shares the court's development over time and a program called "Leaps & Bounds" which offers parents and children an opportunity to engage in activities to strengthen relationships.
The Role of Lawyers in Family Drug Treatment Courts
Summary: The author relates how the center helps attorneys for agencies, children and parents to improve outcomes for the parties through their role as legal advocates in FDTC.
Innovative Peer Mentoring Program Supports Success for Parents in Recovery
Summary: The author shares a lesson learned during the early days of the Santa Clara County Dependency Drug Treatment Court—peer mentoring works. A Mother Mentor program evolved into the Mentor Parent Program which is administered by the Dependency Advocacy Center and has proven to play an important role in parental advocacy and outcomes
Drug Courts Emphasize Problem-Solving Approach in Serving Families
Summary: The author shares how she balances her ethical obligation to the client while pursuing a role of creativity, collaboration and teamwork within the FDTC framework.
Drug Courts Offer Attorneys a New Way to Advocate for Clients
Summary: The author shares how she has been required to develop skills different than those taught in law school in her work representing children in dependency cases.
Ethical Issues in the Family Drug Treatment Court
Summary: The author advises that ethical problems can arise based upon the role of the judge and the unique nature of the hearings.
Sanctions in Family Drug Treatment Courts
Summary: The author addresses sanctions that are appropriate and inappropriate in family drug treatment courts.
Family Treatment Court: The Judge as a Therapeutic Intervention
Summary: The author shares how six family treatment courts were established in Iowa under a federal grant and how an independent evaluation determined that children spent less time in out-of-home care, parents were more successful in substance abuse treatment, and over 4 million dollars in foster care costs and the cost of services was saved.
Summary: A participant in a Mentoring Parent Program describes her journey from suffering from abuse and addiction to becoming a role model and support to others in recovery.
Family Drug Treatment Courts: A Social Worker’s Perspective
Summary: The author explains that the families involved in dependency court have complex and compound issues and that the court provides a team of service providers and resources to meet those needs. She describes the role for service providers as labor intensive but with a payoff of success for the participants.
Addressing the Nexus of Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Abuse in Dependency Drug Treatment Courts
Summary: The relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance abuse is reciprocal, and the presence of either or both are associated with an elevated risk for continuing child abuse and neglect. Incorporating domestic violence services in dependency drug treatment courts can enhance victim safety and support perpetrator accountability while supporting recovery.
Summary: Miami-Dade County Judge Cindy Lederman was honored with a National CASA Award of Excellence at the National CASA Annual Conference in June.
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If an article published in The Judges' Page is reproduced, credit shall be given to the author(s) of the article, the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.