Family Dependency Treatment Court
The Jefferson County Family Dependency Treatment Court (FDTC) aims to better meet the needs of families in Jefferson County, Ohio who come to the attention of the local Children Services Division of the Jefferson County Department of Job and Family Services and where substance abuse/addiction is a contributing factor in the child abuse and neglect allegations.
In August, 2019, the Specialized Docket Section of the Supreme Court of Ohio has granted initial certification to the Jefferson County Common Pleas Juvenile Division Family Dependency Treatment Court. The court officially began accepting participants on January 1, 2020.
The FDTC model transforms the roles of those involved in the court process and establishes a coordinated systemic approach focusing on sobriety and accountability. The following are key components:
- More frequent court hearings with one judge/magistrate
- A team approach to helping participants work toward treatment and parenting goals
- Focus on quick access to drug and alcohol/mental health assessment, treatment and continuing care
- Comprehensive case management and monitoring
- Rewards and sanctions used for progress in meeting sobriety and parenting goals
Goals of the Family Dependency Treatment Court:
- Improve the overall functioning of participants in FDTC, so they regain their lives and reunify with their family.
- Participants will increase days of sobriety.
- Establish a safe, healthy environment for families by providing parents, and their children, with the services and skills needed to productively live in the community.
- Shorten the amount of time that children live out of their homes by reducing the time to reunification with parents.
- Ensure participants have access to necessary services/resources in the community.
To be accepted into the FDTC, families of participants must be receiving services with the Department of Jobs and Family Services for abuse, neglect and/or dependency, have a background of drug and/or alcohol abuse. Participants with a significant history of violent crimes are not eligible for the program.
One of the key components of the FDTC is the establishment of a multi-disciplinary, non-adversarial and collaborative team. This approach helps to ensure coordination in both supervision and treatment while preserving a defendant’s right to due process.
The FTDC Team
The FDTC team consists of:
- FDTC Magistrate
- Case Manager
- Children Services Caseworker
- Children Services Attorney
- Participant Attorney, Family Dependency Treatment Court Program Coordinator
- Guardian ad Litem