Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $550,000)
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 Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources, the University of Alabama at Birminghams Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (UAB TASC), Altheia House and Family Court will provide an enhancement to the current Family Drug Court in Jefferson County, Alabama. The purpose of the program will be to (1) decrease the incidence of child abuse/neglect, (2) intervene in family risk factors, (3) reduce the likelihood of negative outcomes for the children by addressing parental substance use, and (4) increase the capacity of the family court to intervene with substance-abusing. Key program objectives and activities that will enhance the capacity of the family drug court will be to: increase staff capacity by hiring an additional case manager, provide residential treatment through Altheia House, provide both trauma and mental health screenings, adopt the Strengthening Families program curriculum, implement a formal program evaluation, and enhance training opportunities for the program partners. The population of focus will be 50 families per year who are involved in the child welfare system and have at least one parent with a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence. Success of the project will be measured through the collection and analysis of performance measures.