Beyond a Program: Family Treatment Courts – Collaborative Partnerships for Improved Family Outcomes

Overview

April 5, 2022 | 11 – 12:30 PT | 12 – 1:30 MT | 1 – 2:30 CT | 2 – 3:30 ET

Proven. Positive. Effective. Family Treatment Courts (FTCs) have advanced their practice since beginning operations almost three decades ago. An FTC is a juvenile or family court docket for cases of child abuse or neglect in which parental substance use and often co-occurring mental disorders are contributing factors. The first FTCs, developed in the mid-1990s, and inspired by the collaborative, multidisciplinary approach of the adult treatment court model, built upon the key components of adult treatment courts, practice experience in child welfare, and direction from model dependency court guidelines.

Over the past three decades, FTC practitioners have witnessed substantial growth in research about what works in dependency court processing, child welfare practice, substance use and mental disorder treatment, parent-child bonding, behavior modification, and family-centered services and treatment. Model FTCs have evolved from a parent-centric program to a family-centered collaborative effort that engages, supports, and serves children, parents, and families. They work to strengthen relationships between parents and their children; repair harm caused by child abuse, neglect, and SUDs; and address the issues that brought the family into the child welfare system. When implemented according to best practices, FTCs improve policy and practice for all families in the system affected by SUDs, not just those participating in the FTC.  FTCs are a catalyst for systems change.

When state or local leaders consider whether a new FTC could better serve families, they must first: 1) gain foundational knowledge of the FTC model and Best Practice Standards, 2) learn the similarities and differences to the adult treatment court model, and 3) decide where it fits in the community’s continuum of care for families affected by SUDs. This Practice Academy course provides “FTC 101” basics for interested jurisdictions, new FTC team members, and teams that want to revisit foundational FTC concepts.

Learning Objectives:

1.       Identify core concepts and Best Practice Standards of the FTC model—and its similarities and differences to the adult treatment court model—including collaborative partners, target population, timelines, goals, and different FTC models.

2.       Examine whether related initiatives, services, and treatment courts in your community complement or diminish the need for an FTC.

3.       Evaluate disaggregated child welfare and SUD treatment data to determine who the FTC could best serve in your community.

4.       Commit to action: Use our Action Plan template, write in your next steps, and post it near your workspace or pin it as a reminder to take action. How will your team take families further?

Model family treatment courts (FTCs) have evolved beyond a program to become a family-centered collaborative effort that engages, supports, and serves children, parents, and families. When implemented according to best practices, FTCs improve policy and practice for all families in the system affected by substance use disorders, not just those participating in the FTC.  FTCs are a catalyst for systems change. The goal of this video is to demonstrate the family treatment court model’s core concepts.

The Course #1 Live Conversation on April 5, 2022 featured: 

  • Arielle Andrews, Center for Children and Family Futures 
  • Honorable Christopher Goff, Supreme Court Justice, Indiana Supreme Court
  • Honorable Mary Jo B. Hunter, Associate Judge, Ho-Chunk Nation Family Healing to Wellness Court 
  • Chautle Haught, Family Treatment Court Specialist, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia 
  • Angie Jansen, Addiction Recovery Team Coordinator, Oregon Department of Human Services – Child Welfare

Beyond a Program: FTCs — Collaborative Partnerships for Improved Family Outcomes Resources

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FEATURED PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES 

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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