Family Recovery Court (FRC), began hearing cases in February 2019. The FRC serves parents and others in a child’s life whose substance abuse issues are the most severe and central to the reasons why their families have entered the court system. Clientele can include one or both parents, family members, guardians or custodians.
How Does FRC Work?
Under a traditional model, families involved in CHINS (Children In Need Of Services) matters come to court as infrequently as every six months. Because of the infrequent supervision, families struggling with substance abuse might take too long to get enrolled and engaged in drug treatment services. Infrequent supervision is especially problematic in light of the multiple issues faced by many FRC participants, such as domestic violence, mental health issues, homelessness, unemployment and lack of healthy support systems.
Under the FRC model, parents and others involved in a CHINS case with substance abuse issues are seen before a judicial officer on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on what stage of recovery they are in. It is estimated that 85% of CHINS cases involve parents or guardians struggling with substance abuse issues.
Phase of Treatment
The FRC includes three phases of treatment providing a wraparound team approach with intensive services for clients with substance abuse issues. The three phases of treatment are:
- Detoxification from Drugs and Alcohol
- Education/Employment & Coping Skills to Prevent Relapse
- Maintenance of Safe/Stable Housing & Development/Maintenance of the Recovery Environment
Family Recovery Court collaborates with community partners to provide addiction treatment, mental health, education and health care. Team members can include the Judge or Magistrate, public defender, the Indiana Department of Child Services, guardians ad litem, and treatment and service providers.
Benefits of FRC
Entry into Family Recovery Court is voluntary. Such courts have been proven to reduce the time children are placed outside the home in CHINS matters. They are also proven to prevent removals in some cases.
At the time of its launch in 2019, Allen County’s FRC held provisional certification by the Indiana Office of Court Services.
Updated: June 2019