Putting the Pieces Together: Applying a Family-Centered, Problem-Solving Approach to Family Treatment Court Staffing and Court Hearings


May 25, 2021 | 11 – 12:30 PT | 12 – 1:30 MT | 1 – 2:30 CT | 2-3:30 ET

As the field prepares to celebrate National Reunification Month in June, this Practice Academy course discusses key components of a family-centered, behavior-focused, problem-solving approach in FTC pre-court staffing and court hearings.  FTCs focused primarily on a parent’s recovery when they first emerged in the mid-1990s.  Over the past decade, however, many FTCs evolved to meet the individual needs of parents and children.  Still, services felt disconnected from each another and often overlooked the health of parent-child or family relationships.

Today, model FTCs treat the parent, child, and the family unit as a whole — allowing families to break the cycle of substance use, child abuse, and neglect — while paving the way for healthy, stable home environments where children can thrive.  This course makes the abstract concepts concrete, illustrating how teams can apply these principles at FTC pre-court staffing and court hearings to improve outcomes for families in all FTC models (integrated, parallel, and hybrid).

Watch the short, animated videos demonstrating a model FTC pre-court staffing and court hearing prior to the Live Conversation on May 25.  Then, use the Team Discussion tool to guide conversation with your team while assessing your strengths and challenges in adopting this approach.  Finally, join the Live Conversation on May 25 to hear from an FTC team who has made this “enhanced approach” to staffing and court hearings their “new normal.”  Following the Live Conversation, use the Take Action tool to shift learning into action and monitor the effect on family outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how your FTC pre-court staffing and court hearings shape the path for families working toward reunification and successful case closure.
  2. Learn how to ensure FTC pre-court staffing and court hearings address the family’s needs.
  3. Examine how to implement effective engagement strategies for families affected by SUDs by shifting from “problem reporting” to “problem solving” in your pre-court staffing.
  4. Use the Team Discussion tool and Take Action tool to create an action plan to guide implementation of this approach in your FTC.
The goal of this Practice Academy course and these short, animated videos is to demonstrate a model practice for family-centered staffing and treatment court hearings.  FTC teams often understand the importance and benefits of treating the family unit, supporting the parent-child relationship, and problem-solving as a team to help the family meet their goals.  However, many teams struggle to understand what this family-centered, problem-solving approach looks like in action.  How do you respond to behavior instead of punish?  How do you integrate discussions about parenting time into a short staffing window and a five-minute discussion with the parent?  How do you ensure all team members and the family have a voice in the process?  

If the “what” and “why” behind applying a family-centered, problem-solving approach in your FTC is new to you, please check out the Materials and TA Resources section in this course for materials that cover the basics behind these concepts.

The videos highlight one family during two different phases of their case.  The first video focuses on strategies for early engagement while the mother has been in the FTC for four weeks and is in phase one.  The second video follows the same family, now five months into their case and discussing reunification.   The model presented in these videos is an example of an integrated family treatment court.  While we recognize the differences of integrated and parallel model FTCs, many of these concepts do still apply regardless of the model, although may look different in practice.  For more discussion about how a parallel FTC has shifted to a family-centered approach, join us for the live webinar on May 25th or watch the recording. 

The pre-court staffing and court hearing you are about to observe focuses on applying a family-centered, problem-solving approach to serving a family in the early engagement stages of the family treatment court. We acknowledge that the team members and roles represented in this video may not be a direct reflection of your team and that teams may not staff every family in this way each week.

The pre-court staffing and court hearing you are about to observe focuses on applying a family-centered, problem-solving approach to serving a family in the reunification stages of the family treatment court. We acknowledge that the team members and roles represented in this video may not be a direct reflection of your team and that teams may not staff every family in this way each week.

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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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