Putting the Pieces Together: Disrupting Stigma to Support Meaningful Change for Families in Family Treatment Court


July 8, 2021 | 11 — 12:30 PT | 12 — 1:30 MT | 1 — 2:30 CT | 2 — 3:30 ET

This Practice Academy course invites FTC teams and practitioners to step back from their daily interactions with families to consider how their thoughts, beliefs, and language about parenting and SUDs influence how they interact with families.  Stigma about SUD, particularly related to child abuse and neglect and prenatal exposure, affects the attitudes of healthcare and treatment professionals, social service agencies/workers, family, friends, and the person with an SUD — creating barriers for parents to seek help and engage in treatment, including medication-assisted treatment.  Further, disparities in accessing and completing treatment exist for historically disadvantaged and other underserved groups.  FTC teams must actively identify and disrupt stigma in interactions, expectations, language, and policies affecting families.  This course provides teams with a framework to begin dismantling practices that do not benefit all families. 

Watch the short video outlining core concepts on this topic prior to the Live Conversation on July 8.  Then, use the Team Discussion tool to guide conversation with your team while assessing your strengths and challenges in disrupting stigma.  Finally, join the Live Conversation on July 8 to hear from a certified peer support specialist (and FTC graduate) whose FTC team gave her the support to make long-lasting change.  Another FTC professional will discuss how to put these values into action in FTC operations.  After the Live Conversation, use the Take Action tool to shift learning into action and monitor the effect on family outcomes. 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Re-examine beliefs, attitudes, and language about SUDs and trauma, particularly for historically disadvantaged and other underserved groups, and their effect on recovery, parenting, and family relationships. 
  2. Highlight the importance of meaningful engagement through relationship-building and cross-agency collaboration in your FTC versus a focus on compliance and practicing in siloes.  
  3. Hear from a parent in recovery on how an educated, trauma-responsive FTC team helped her reduce self-stigma and find hope and healing on the way to recovery. 
  4. Use the Team Discussion tool and Take Action tool to create an action plan to guide implementation of this approach in your FTC. 


In this Practice Academy course, we invite you to step back from your daily interactions with families to consider how your thoughts, beliefs, and language about parenting and substance use disorders influence how you interact with families.  Stigma about substance use disorders, particularly related to child abuse and neglect and prenatal exposure, affects the attitudes of healthcare and treatment professionals, social service agencies and workers, family, friends, and the person with an SUD — creating barriers for parents to seek help and engage in treatment, including medication-assisted treatment.  Disparities in accessing and completing treatment exist for historically disadvantaged and other underserved groups.  FTC teams must actively identify and disrupt stigma in interactions, expectations, language, and policies affecting families.  This course provides teams with a framework to begin dismantling practices that do not benefit all families.


  • Jennifer Foley, Senior Program Associate, Center for Children and Family Futures
  • Rob Rosenhaus, Senior Program Associate, Center for Children and Family Futures
  • Dr. Lucien Gonzalez, MD, Assistant Professor, University of MN Medical School
  • Dr. Jocelyn Chaney-Gainers, Executive Director, Family Recovery Program (Baltimore City, MD)
  • Nancy T., Recovery Coach, Family Treatment Court (Rockland County, NY)
  • Lanie Roussel, Parent Attorney, Family Treatment Court (Hancock County, MS)
  • Honorable Trent Favre, Family Treatment Court (Hancock County, MS)

Disrupting Stigma to Support Meaningful Change for Families in Family Treatment Court Resources:

Additional Resources:

See Page 10 for Dr. Gonzalez’s article, “Addressing Stigma of Substance Use Disorders in Child Welfare Settings”.

Learning Opportunities

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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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