Checklist to Change


Families involved in the child welfare system and affected by parental substance use disorders face a difficult and arduous journey towards achieving their recovery and reunification goals within the time limits set forth by ASFA.

Family Drug Courts (FDCs) provide a pathway for achieving positive outcomes through interagency collaboration, coordinated and comprehensive service delivery, and enhanced accountability.  The phasing system of the FDC model, in particular, provides participants and the team visible steps for measuring progress and success.

Many FDCs have moved beyond the traditional pre-set phasing structure focused on compliance and completing a checklist of requirements to one that accounts for parents’ strengths, readiness, and desire behavioral change.   While many FDCs have restructured their phasing system with some referring to it as Milestones, other FDC programs have integrated behavioral benchmarks into their current phasing structure.

This Café Conversation will explore the innovative yet meaningful approach FDCs have adopted to better assess and prepare families for successful recovery and reunification.  Attendees will be encouraged to have conversations with their team and partner agencies to define what “success” means for participant families, identify what families need to be successful, and how they will maintain strong relationships to ensure a flow of communication.

In this Podcast Interview we interview the Honorable Dana J. Kenworthy, who presides on the Family Treatment Court in Grant County, Indiana.  This podcast hosted by CFF Senior Program Associate Tessa Richter explores Hon. Kenworthy and her team moved towards a move behavioral approach and thoughtful approaches regarding responding to participant behavior and decision-making involving reunification.

Live Cafe Conversations

Learning Opportunities

Grantee TTA Projects


Through federally- and foundation-funded projects, Children and Family Futures and its small business subsidiary, Center for Children and Family Futures, produces publications, reports, Technical Assistance tools and web-based learning for the field. The following are featured resources from our work. For more resources or information related to a specific topic, please visit our resources page or click the “Request Assistance” button below or at the top of the page.

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