Through federally- and foundation-funded projects, Children and Family Futures (CFF) provides a broad range of training and technical assistance to states, state and local courts, units of local government (e.g., child welfare, mental health, juvenile, and criminal justice), tribal governments, and community agencies on implementing family treatment court practices.
Dependency courts and child welfare systems often lack sufficient resources to meet the multiple needs and reduce the complex risk factors of families in which parental substance use disorders contribute to child maltreatment. Well-functioning family treatment courts use a family-centered approach, bringing together child welfare services, substance use disorder treatment agencies, family treatment professionals, and other community services to meet the diverse needs of children, parents and their family members, and assure equitable access and outcomes. Family treatment courts seek to strengthen the relationships between parents, children, and family members to provide safe environments for children through intensive case management, more frequent judicial monitoring, and culturally responsive services, supports, and interventions. A meta-analysis found that families who participated in a family treatment court were two times more likely to reunify than families receiving conventional services (Zhang, Huang, Wu, Li, & Liu, 2019).
Family Treatment Courts are more effective than traditional dependency court processing at:
- Getting people into treatment faster
- Retaining people in treatment
- Supporting completion of treatment
- Reducing children’s time out of home
- Not having children return to care (re-occurrence of neglect or abuse) (Bruns, et al., 2012; Green, et al., 2007; Lloyd, 2015)