Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $492,284)
The purpose of the Family Drug Courts Program is to build the capacity of states, state and local courts, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments to either implement new drug courts or enhance pre-existing drug courts for substance-abusing adults involved with the family dependency court as a result of child abuse and neglect issues. Applicants must provide services to the children of the parents in the program as well as to the parents. The program provides seed money, not long-term support. OJJDP expects successful applicants to develop and implement a sustainability plan during the grant period to continue operation of the family drug court when the grant ends. The program is authorized under 42 U.S.C. 3797u et seq.
The Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland seeks to implement a Family Drug Court Program (Charles County Family Recovery Court). The Family Recovery Court (FRC) is an alternative for parents with substance abuse problems that inhibit their ability to provide safe and appropriate care for their children. A majority of the participants will be under the jurisdiction of the court through a Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) proceeding or a contested family law matter. Others identified as having substance abuse issues that jeopardize custody will also be eligible to participate. The FRC will utilize a holistic approach to support parents and families in substance abuse recovery. Key components to achieve the program's goals and objectives include consistent court and administrative monitoring, intensive substance abuse treatment, frequent and random drug testing, ancillary service referrals, and collaborative community efforts. Comprehensive staff education and training will also be incorporated. Various tools will be utilized to record and measure progress towards program goals. The FRC will rely on detailed case management data entered into the Statewide Maryland Automated Records Tracking (SMART) system, Uniform Court System (UCS), the Department of Human Resources' MD CHESSIE system, and internally-developed spreadsheets to evaluate the program's efficacy.