Project Description: The National Evaluation of Family Treatment Courts (NEFTC) is one of the only nationwide studies of Family Treatment Courts. Family treatment courts (FTC) are part of a broad judicial reform movement that seeks to address the underlying causes of criminal and anti-social behavior while preventing recidivism and reducing costs associated with traditional court processing and punishment. FTCs employ a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to serve families who require substance use treatment and who are involved with the child welfare system.
There are more than 300 FTCs across the US, serving thousands of families at the intersection of substance use and child welfare. The NEFTC will examine which family treatment court (FTC) program practices are associated with positive outcomes for parents, children, and their families. It will also identify strategies FTCs are using to meet the specific needs of individuals with opiate addiction and analyze the outcomes and costs of FTCs.
Two integrated and complementary study components comprise the proposed research project, an FTC Best Practice Study (BPS) and an FTC Outcome and Cost Study (OCS). These studies will fill significant gaps in the field’s understanding of FTCs. Specifically, the BPS will: (1) examine the policies and practices of FTCs; (2) assess the extent to which the policies and practices of FTCs are aligned with current best practice standards; (3) describe the characteristics of FTCs; (4) describe eligibility requirements; and, (5) estimate the number and characteristics of families served by FTCs across the country. The OCS will: (1) synthesize extant published and unpublished family drug court cost evaluations; (2) implement additional outcome and cost evaluations that reflect the diversity of FTCs across the country; (3) incorporate child, parent, and family outcomes; and, (4) determine what FTC practices are related to improved outcomes and cost savings.
Funding Source: This project is supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, and managed by the National Institute of Justice of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Start Date: October 2018