Applying the Family Treatment Court Best Practice Standards: Lessons from Practitioners
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm EST
Room: Chesapeake DEF
Presenter(s):Alexis Balkey, Jane Pfeifer and Arielle Andrews
Family treatment court (FTC) practitioners, after more than 25 years of practice experience and scholarly research, now have Best Practice Standards (BPS) to help establish and sustain an effective FTC. FTCs can apply BPS practices and tools with equity to improve outcomes for all children and families both in the child welfare system and affected by parental substance use disorders (SUDs). FTC teams and practitioners will hear about the latest research and practice-based evidence gained from treatment court, child welfare, SUD treatment, and other disciplines. This session provides insight on how to apply specific provisions within the BPS, as well as site examples showing how FTCs incorporate these standards into daily practice. You will learn how FTCs create lasting systems change to improve outcomes for families in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s four dimensions of recovery: health, home, community, and purpose. Presenters will also show you how teams use the BPS to help families break generational cycles of substance use, abuse, and neglect — thereby promoting healthy, stable home environments where children can thrive.
Peer Learning Courts (PLCs) will share examples of how they implemented the BPS into their FTCs, while presenters offer specific resources teams can use to improve and enhance their FTCs. Join this session to gain practical knowledge as well as actionable insight into how your FTC can implement these practices to improve outcomes.
Examine the research-supported BPS that improve outcomes for children and families
Explore how PLCs put FTC BPS into practice
Identify concrete action steps for FTC teams to apply to self-assess their practices and systems change efforts
Abstract: Families involved in the child welfare system and affected by parental substance use disorders face a difficult and arduous journey toward achieving recovery and reunification goals within the time limits set by the Adoption and Safe Families Act. FTCs provide a pathway for achieving positive outcomes through interagency collaboration, coordinated and comprehensive service delivery addressing the needs of the entire family, and enhanced accountability. Once a family engages, they have a higher chance of experiencing successful outcomes. The presenters will discuss effective staffing and court hearing practices that improve cross-systems communication, examine the parent-child relationship, and assess the family’s strengths and needs to determine when it is safe and appropriate to return a child home. This workshop discussion will explore family engagement and family readiness as a collaborative practice challenge and the need for coordinated case plans and effective communication protocols across child welfare, treatment, and court systems. The audience will learn practice tips to collaboratively assess for readiness and put those recommendations into practice by engaging in an interactive simulation of a treatment team meeting and status review hearing.
Examine the importance of implementing effective engagement strategies for families affected by substance use disorders
Learn various case management and cross-system communication strategies that assess for family
strengths and needs the support successful family recovery and family reunification
Witness first-hand how to enhance pre-court treatment team and status review hearings to ensure the needs of the family are being addressed shifting from “problem reporting” to “problem solving”
Implementing a Family-Centered Approach for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders and Involved with Child Welfare Services
Time: 7:45am – 9:00am
Room: National Harbor 12-13
Presenter(s): Kim Coe and Dr. Nancy Young
There is not currently a universally accepted definition of a family-centered approach. Despite differences in definitions, there are a set of common essential ingredients that are used across the continuum of providers. A family-centered approach is key to effective treatment, sustained recovery, and family well-being. It includes a comprehensive array of clinical treatment and related support services that meet the needs of each family member, not only of the individual requesting care. This session will highlight the essential ingredients required to successfully implement a family-centered approach and cover practical strategies, challenges, and successes from experts in the field. In addition, it will review the state and local leadership efforts needed, including priority setting, evaluation, and funding, to ensure the implementation and sustainability of a family-centered approach. A new series of companion modules developed by the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, Implementing a Family-Centered Approach for Families Affected By Substance Use Disorders and Involved with Children Welfare Services, will be featured during the presentation. This resource is designed for state, county, and agency-level collaborative partners working together to improve systems, services, and outcomes for children and families affected by substance use disorders.
Participants will learn about the essential ingredients required to successfully implement a family-centered approach;
Obtain practical strategies, lessons, and considerations from family-centered practitioners who have successfully implemented a family-centered approach; and,
Gain an understanding of the collaborative efforts and policy-level activities needed to implement and sustain a family-centered approach.
Civil Rights Protections for Parents in Child Welfare Services and in Recovery from an Opioid Use Disorder
Time: 9:15am – 10:30am EST
Room: National Harbor 4-5
Presenter(s): Adam Lewis and Dr. Nancy Young
Opioid use disorder is a serious epidemic affecting families and communities across the nation. Discrimination, bias, myths, and misconceptions could lead to barriers for clients accessing medication-assisted treatment (MAT). It is important for court professionals and their community partners to know that federal disability rights laws prohibit discrimination against individuals with opioid use disorder who are not engaging in illegal drug use, including those who are taking legally prescribed medication to treat their opioid or other substance use disorder (SUD). In this session, presenters will provide a brief overview of the opioid epidemic effects on families, identify common unlawful barriers to MAT, and explore relevant civil rights protections. Participants will also learn how to use federal civil rights and child welfare laws as advocacy tools for parents, children, and families in cases with SUDs. The new resource “Exploring Civil Rights Protections for Individuals in Recovery from an Opioid Use Disorder” is a five-part video and webinar series that will be featured as resources for session participants.
Introduce nondiscrimination laws as they related to individuals with substance use disorders;
Understand of how child welfare agencies and state court systems can address civil rights compliance;
Identify how ADA and Section 504 can be used to meet responsibilities to protect clients and promote well-being of children and families.
Using Data as Your Flashlight: Guiding the Way to Improved Outcomes
Time: 10:45am – 12:00pm EST
Room: Baltimore 3-5
Presenter(s): Colleen Killian and Alexis Balkey
Panelists: Judge John Rowley, Kelli Sutton, and Rebecca Foley
How are families doing? What do families need? Is my program helping or harming families? Family treatment courts (FTC) can use data to shine light on their program and respond to these questions in addition to identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement. FTC Best Practices Standards recommend that FTC teams engage in a process of continuous quality improvement, monitor performance, and use information to improve policies and practices. Data can be used in a variety of ways to increase referrals and engagement, ensure equity and inclusion, and support program sustainability—all with the common purpose of improving outcomes for all children, parents, and family members affected by substance use disorders. Join this panel discussion to gain insight and strategies from experts in the field who will share their approach to using data to inform practice improvements.
Explore how data-driven decision making improves outcomes
Learn innovative strategies, key lessons, and takeaways from a panel of FTC programs who have successfully used data to inform leadership, decision-making, system improvements, and sustainability
Identify concrete action steps and tools that FTCs can use to be more data-driven
Challenges in Responding to Participant Behavior (and How to Solve Them)
Time: 4:00pm – 5:15pm
Room: Chesapeake ABC
Track: D – 7
Presenter(s): Brooke O’Byrne, Kirstin Frescoln, Graham Peper
Many family treatment courts (FTCs) are challenged with effectively responding to participant behavior. The complexities of supporting real behavior change and providing accountability to achieve the goals of recovery and safe parenting will require your team to be individualistic yet fair, problem-solving, and therapeutic in its approach. FTCs also need to consider underlying causes of behaviors, the effect of the response on the participant’s children, and the participant’s engagement in treatment and supportive services. This presentation will explore key considerations in responding to participant behavior through review of the most recent research and will explore hot topics such as the use of jail, phase advancement, and termination. A Take Action Guide will be provided to ensure attendees translate learning into practice.
Describe the key guiding principles of responding to participant behavior in FTCs
Discuss effective approaches to responding to participant behavior that are family-centered, problem-solving, trauma-informed, and therapeutic
Apply strategies and solutions implemented by various FTCs that are effectively and thoughtfully responding to participant behavior
Earlier the Better: How FTCs are Improving Outcomes with an Early Intervention Approach
Time: 1:45pm – 3:00pm EST
Room: National Harbor 4-5
Presenter(s): Ken DeCerchio
This presentation will share key lessons and outcomes from the National Quality Improvement Center for Collaborative Community Court Teams’ (QIC-CCCT) engagement with 14 collaborative court teams, including ten Family Treatment Courts. The goal of QIC-CCCT was to improve outcomes for infants affected by prenatal substance exposure and their families through enhanced implementation of the 2016 amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The CAPTA amendments focused on improving well-being and safety for infants affected by prenatal substance exposure and their families or caregivers, including the development of a plan of safe care that includes the treatment needs of the infant and the family or caregiver in the plan. This presentation highlights steps judges and the collaborative courts can take to support parents with substance use disorders and advocate for family-centered plans of safe care to improve safety, permanency, well-being, and recovery outcomes. They will also discuss the role of collaborative court teams in implementing a prevention approach to Plans of Safe Care, including prenatal Plans of Safe Care, and improving cross-system collaboration in their communities. Presenters will share the results of the QIC-CCCT cross-site evaluation, including key program outcomes.
Identify the policy and practice implications of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and strategies for implementing Plans of Safe Care, including prenatal Plans of Safe Care.
Describe the strategies and lessons of the QIC-CCCT, including the role of collaborative community court teams in implementing Plans of Safe care and a coordinated and family-centered approach to improve early engagement and outcomes for infants, young children and families affected by substance use disorders.
Understand steps judges and the collaborative courts can take to support parents with substance use disorders and their role in implementing early intervention and prevention for families affected by prenatal substance exposure.
Connecting Veteran Treatment Courts and Veteran Justice Outreach Services through Collaborative Court Staffing
Time: 5:30pm – 6:45pm
Room: Annapolis 1-2
Presenter(s): Larisa Owen and Honorable Mary Kreber Varipapa
This session will explore the need to establish connections between Veteran Treatment Courts (VTCs), teams of Veteran Justice Outreach (VJO) mentors, and probation staff and the existing family- and childserving agencies within the community. All collaborative courts are family courts when their participants include adults who have children. Recent survey results indicate that more than half of the participants served by VTCs are parents with children. Prioritizing family-centered approaches in VTCs is justified based on the trauma and substance use disorder service needs of veterans, their children, and families. Participants will gain a greater understanding of how to improve service delivery by examining the collaborative strategies within the Ten Element VTC Framework. Highlights of this presentation include particular attention to parental stress, family trauma, and the associated factors of disrupted parentchild relationships including deployment, reintegration, and separation from service. Presenters will make the case for family-centered approaches by drawing on their collective experience as part of a collaborative coalition in Orange County, California which provides services to veterans involved in collaborative courts (i.e., Veterans Treatment Court, Domestic Violence Court), mental health systems, and their children and families.
Develop an understanding about the importance of applying family-centered approaches through a continuum of services to address the unique needs of veterans, their children, and families
Learn how to apply the key principles of the Ten Element VTC Framework to enhance collaboration, develop community partnerships, and improve service delivery to VTC participants
Increase an awareness and advance knowledge about the associative factors affecting parent-child relationships including deployment, reintegration, and separation from service
Change Vs. Checklist: Using Coordinated Case Planning to Improve Parent and Family Engagement
Time: 9:15am – 10:30am EST
Room: Woodrow Wilson Ballroom BCD
Presenter(s): Jennifer Foley, Kelli Sutton, and Kirstin Frescoln
Families involved in the child welfare system and affected by substance use disorders face a difficult journey to achieving their recovery and reunification goals within the time limits set forth by the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA). Early engagement in treatment, family-centered case plans, and high-quality, frequent parenting time are key to achieving timely and stable recovery and successful closure of the child welfare case. Research suggests that participation in a family treatment court (FTC) substantially increases the likelihood of reunification without increasing the likelihood of subsequent reoccurrence of neglect or reentry into foster care. Effective phase structure and case plans engage and empower families to take responsibility for their individual and family well-being by focusing on behavior change and skill development rather than a checklist of requirements. These family-centered case plans, unique to each family, reflect the strengths and needs of all family members. This session will feature research and practice supporting family-focused case plans while challenging traditional, time- and sobriety-focused phase structures. Attendees will learn strategies to generate comprehensive case plans while meeting individual agency requirements and avoiding conflicting demands. An FTC coordinator will share how her team pairs the family’s comprehensive case plan with the flexible phase structure to support the differing needs and strengths of parents, children, and families. Join us as we rethink our checklists to embrace real behavior change.
Describe the research supporting family-centered case plans, formulate effective family-centered case plans that incorporate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s four dimensions of recovery, and ensure children’s and family members’ needs are met
Explain how phase structure can support comprehensive case plans to encourage parents to engage in their recovery and parenting services
Learn behavioral benchmark strategies to integrate and align participant progress with various case plan elements, including treatment, parenting time, and services for children.
Panelists: Judge Anthony Capizzi, and Judge Marcia Hirsch
This interactive session provides attendees an opportunity to meet “as a discipline” to discuss their roles and responsibilities, network with their judicial colleagues, and hear about all of the sessions at the conference that are most relevant to their work. This year there will also be a focused conversation on lessons and solutions related to operating treatment courts during the pandemic.
Interact with peers and get questions answered about conference sessions and program
Presenter(s): Theresa Lemus, Meghan Wheeler, Judge Michael Montero, Kisten Born, and Shawna Hopple
Abstract: With the recent release of Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) treatment court funding solicitations, this always-popular session is even more timely. Hear directly from all of the federal funders who provide funding to support treatment courts regarding current funding opportunities. Senior staff from BJA, OJJDP, as well as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will conduct this interactive session. Get all your questions answered, including the outline of the selection process and factors that contribute to a stronger application.
Bringing Housing to the Table in All Treatment Courts
Time: 4:45pm -6:00pm EST
Room: Woodrow Wilson Ballroom BCD
Presenter(s): Kirstin Frescoln
Housing is at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and is one of the four essential dimensions of recovery identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This session will discuss the need for safe and affordable housing for individuals and families involved in the justice and child welfare systems and the role of housing in recovery, reunification, and reduction of recidivism. The session will prepare participants to engage with housing providers and other community stakeholders with a goal of increasing housing opportunities for treatment court participants and their families.
Describe the scope of need for safe and affordable housing within treatment court populations
Explain how housing affects recovery outcomes
Effectively engage with community housing providers to identify existing housing options and develop new opportunities and partnerships