Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $614,806)
OJJDP's Family Drug Courts program builds 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 individuals with substance abuse disorders or substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders, including histories of trauma, who are involved with the family dependency court as a result of child abuse, neglect, and other parenting issues. Applicants must provide services to the children of the parents in the program as well as to the parents. This 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. This program is authorized by 42 U.S.C. 3797u, et seq.
The Gila River Indian Community (the Community) has approximately 20,717 enrolled members. Of those; 6,143 are under the age of 18 and 7,208 are between the ages of 18 and 35, which is the average age range for parents who have children that are wards of the court. The Family Drug Court will operate under the Children's Court, which is a branch of the Gila River Indian Community Court. The Gila River Family Drug Court will provide an intensive comprehensive treatment service that promotes a parent's recovery from substance abuse. These services will include an intensive parenting and family program called "Celebrating Families"; "Matrix" treatment for substance abuse; intensive case management; and a healing to wellness cultural component. Native Americans have always valued family and extended family. This program will incorporate those traditional beliefs to increase the number of children who live in a safe, sober and substance free home. This program will allow children who have become wards of the court to be returned to their homes sooner and reduce future involvement with Child Protective Services, which will be shown by the Family Drug Court's impact on the average length of out-of-home placement and recidivism rates. The goals of the Gila River Family Drug Court are to: 1) implement a Family Drug Court program for families that are involved in the child welfare system due to substance abuse; 2) create a support system for parents within the Family Drug Court to assist them in staying away from drugs and alcohol for successful reunification with their children; and 3) significantly reduce disruption of the family due to substance abuse.