U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

GEMS Court, to address substance abuse and abusive behaviors for children and families involved in matters heard in the Child Protection Division, Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Department.

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $649,727)

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 of Cook County, Illinois proposes to implement the GEMS (Gaining Experience, Making Strides) Court, which will advance a service delivery system based on needs of parents involved in dependency court, as well as the needs of their children and family members. The Circuit Court will work collaboratively with system partners to deliver evidence-based recovery coach case management, treatment and support services. Focus will be given to addressing substance use and abusive/neglectful behaviors, and relationships between co-occurring mental health, developmental, cognitive, and trauma-related issues. GEMS will serve 210 parents and 471 family members over 3 years. GEMS Court will increase targeted court responses to Illinois families, with three main goals: facilitate positive outcomes for families (Objectives: multidisciplinary collaboration and service coordination; successful program completion by 60% of participants); resolve safety issues resulting in court involvement for children (Objectives: decreased rates of substance use; decreased rates of new drug-related offenses or child abuse/neglect reports); and strengthen family unification by providing access to evidence-informed treatment, Recovery Coach case management, and developmentally appropriate services.

Date Created: September 18, 2011