Evaluation of the Charles County Family Recovery Program

Status: complete

Purpose: The Charles County Family Recovery Court (FRC), located in La Plata, Maryland, is a family treatment court (or family dependency treatment court) that provides intensive judicial oversight for substance-abusing parents involved with the child welfare system. The general program population consists of substance abusing parents who have lost some level of access to their children. The intent of the FRC is to divert parents to substance abuse treatment and help them navigate the child welfare system, hopefully reunifying the family. This program is designed to take a minimum of 9 months from participant entry to graduation, but can last longer. The program takes participants pre-adjudication, post-adjudication/pre-disposition, and general custody cases where substance abuse is a concern. Team members include the judge, coordinator, family resource specialist, family services director, Department of Social Services (DSS) social worker liaison, DSS attorney, attorneys for the child, public defender, treatment providers, and community supervision.

Evaluation: The project involved process and outcome evaluations of the FRC and technical assistance for required Client Outcomes (Government Performance and Results Act) data collection and entry. Evaluation activities included site visits; key stakeholder interviews; court and staffing meeting observations, focus groups with participants; and relevant court, treatment, and child welfare data collection and analysis.

Funding Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Start Date:  October 2012