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Denver Family Integrated Drug Court Lilas Rajaee-Moore Director of TASC & Drug Court Programs February 24, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Denver Family Integrated Drug Court Lilas Rajaee-Moore Director of TASC & Drug Court Programs February 24, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Denver Family Integrated Drug Court Lilas Rajaee-Moore Director of TASC & Drug Court Programs February 24, 2006

2 Common Characteristics of AOD related families Although some families become involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) due to abuse issues, over 60% of substance abusing families are referred due to neglect issues. Chronic parental substance abuse is a key barrier to successful family reunification… The majority of parents reported to CWS are women, and African American mothers are over- represented demographically. Many families are involved with co-occurring mental health, domestic violence, and medical health issues including HIV / AIDS. Children with open Child Welfare cases whose parents have substance abuse issues tend to be younger than other children involved with CWS. These children are more likely to be victims of severe and chronic neglect, and are much more likely to be placed in foster care for longer periods of time than other child clients. Many substance abusing parents, especially mothers, referred to the Child Welfare System are motivated to enter treatment out of concern for their children. THIS IS A STRENGTH for professionals TO BUILD ON!!!!!!!!

3 Adoption and Safe Families Act Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (P.L ) Amendment the Family Preservation and Support Services Act... The law decreases the amount of time allowed for child welfare professionals to establish permanency planning from 18 to 12 months. Establishes timely status reviews and more decisive permanency hearings In cases of aggravated circumstances (defined as a parent who commits murder, involuntary manslaughter, or felony assault that results in serious harm to the child), States are not required to make reasonable efforts towards family preservation prior to placing a child in foster care. Re-definition of “reasonable efforts” to include that the child’s safety and health shall be the paramount concern. Family reunification services are time limited. Services to families may include substance abuse treatment, domestic violence counseling, child care, and transportation, BUT service are not to exceed more than 15 months after child placement...

4 Traditional Court Process Multiple Cases and Judges Conflicting Court Orders Insufficient Treatment Funds Lack of Emphasis on Family Related Issues Child Protection Issues.

5 Philosophical Concepts Parents love their children and want them to develop into healthy adults. Parents have a right to raise their own children. Children grow best in their own families. Most children can be protected within their own homes. Most children want to live with their own parents if they can be safe. The state is not a good parent. Given appropriate support, most families can be preserved

6 Colorado Commission on Families Recommendations Professional Expertise Family Law Background Experience with families and substance abuse Best interests of the child and the process of recovery Timely, Efficient, and Less Adversarial Process On judge, one family, one court Relationship building Increased client motivation Enhanced Coordination Collaboration which decreases duplication and fragmentation of services Legal and Ancillary Services Flexible Service Funds

7 FIDC Treatment Strategies 1)Integrate and strengthen assessment practices for substance abusing families. 2)Provide TIMELY access to appropriate substance abuse treatment and ancillary services. 3)Identify strategies to motivate substance abusing parents. 4)Define criteria and expand knowledge leading to informed decisions on when to return children to their families. 5)Prevent and prepare for relapse! 6)Focus on individualized “reasonable efforts” for substance abusing families and permanency planning.

8 Clocks 1)The Clock of Child Development: Children cannot wait. Children urgently need safe and stable homes and nurturing relationships to develop a foundation for a healthy and productive life. 2)The Clock of Recovery: Alcohol and drug abusers need time to conquer their addiction. It can take several attempts, over months and years, before treatment works. Relapse is common...The process of recovery is life-long.

9 FIDC Critical Elements Non-adversarial process Frequent Court Reviews Drug Testing Graduated Sanctions & Incentives Timely access to assessment & treatment Accountability Therapeutic Jurisprudence

10 Post Implementation Meeting ASFA and Treatment Guidelines Expedited and Integrated Case Processing Access to Treatment Based on Individual Needs Tangible Sanctions & Incentives Emphasis on Child Protection, Family Preservation, and Public Safety

11 FIDC Innovations Family / Court Partnerships Family focus vs. client centered approach Creative use of graduated sanctions & incentives. Multi-disciplinary Collaboration


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