Ohio Receives Federal Grant to Examine Family Drug Courts
More than 42 percent of parents who come in contact with Ohio’s child protective services have identified substance abuse issues, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Family drug courts are designed to assist those parents with treatment and rehabilitation, but too often those who need the help are not using the services.
To understand why there is a lack of access to existing family drug courts, the Ohio Supreme Court Specialized Docket and Children & Families sections are partnering with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services on the Ohio Family Drug Court Statewide Reform Grant. Ohio is one of five states to receive a Family Drug Court Statewide System Reform Program grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
“The increase in opiate abuse is taking a toll on Ohio’s families. Our family drug courts can provide families stability and increase well-being through court-monitored treatment. We will use this grant to identify the barriers that limit families’ ability to access the assistance drug courts provide. Removing these barriers is fundamental to participation and success,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said.
The two-year, $309,115 grant will include funding for a symposium with representatives from family drug courts to develop plans for increasing access.
There are currently 16 family drug courts in Ohio certified by the Supreme Court. They are based on the drug court specialized docket concept that focuses on treatment and rehabilitation, and the parent’s substance abuse is addressed as the root cause contributing to the dependency, neglect, or abuse in the family.