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West Side Police News & Notes

9/26/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Summit County Juvenile Court starting Family Drug Court

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio announced Sept. 24 the court will receive a three-year, $538,363 federal grant to introduce a specialized docket, the Family Drug Court, in conjunction with Summit County Children Services (SCCS).

The collaboration is intended to reunite and stabilize family units through the provision of suitable intensive treatment and intervention for families who have had their children removed as a result of substance abuse or when it has been determined to be a major contributing factor to the children’s removal, according to Juvenile Court officials. Support and services for both the parents and the children for other issues such as poverty, mental health and trauma also will be offered to families.

The court learned Sept. 16 the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention approved the grant application. The funding period begins Oct. 1.

According to Juvenile Court officials, the Family Drug Court will partner with a regional initiative comprised of major county and statewide child-and-family service providers funded by the Administration on Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program is called the Summit County Collaborative on Trauma, Alcohol and Other Drug and Resiliency-Building Services, or the STARS Program, according to Juvenile Court officials.

The STARS Program aims to improve child and family outcomes and uses a coordinated system of care, which includes trauma-informed assessment and family strengthening services, according to Juvenile Court officials. The Family Drug Court will work closely with the STARS Program to identify potential candidates for the Family Drug Court docket, according to Juvenile Court officials.

The allocation from the Department of Justice will be used, in part, to fund the salaries of a Family Drug Court coordinator and an additional SCCS social work assistant, according to Juvenile Court officials. SCCS will create a Substance Intervention Unit through reassignment of individuals providing services at SCCS and provide them with additional training. Remaining funds will be used for drug/alcohol testing costs to ensure treatment compliance and for various supports to be issued as incentives/rewards. The goal of the Family Drug Court is to serve up to 25 families per year, according to Juvenile Court officials.

Ariel Hakim contributed to this report.

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