Family Drug Courts (FDCs) were created to address the poor outcomes derived from traditional family reunification programs for substance-abusing parents. (Huddleston & Marlowe, 2011). FDC’s seek to do what is in the best interest of the family by providing a safe and secure environment for the child while intensively intervening and treating the parent’s substance abuse and other co-morbidity issues.
The first FDC was established in 1995 in Reno, Nevada; now well over 300 programs operate throughout the United States (Huddleston & Marlowe, 2011). The first Oklahoma Family Drug Court was established in 1998 in Tulsa County. Since then, Oklahoma’s Family Drug Court program has expanded to two additional sites in Okmulgee and Oklahoma in 2012.
- FDC is among the most effective programs for improving substance abuse treatment initiation and completion in child welfare populations. Treatment completion rates were 20 to 30 percentage points higher for the FDC participants than for the comparison participants. (Research Update on Family Drug Courts by Douglas B. Marlowe, J.D., Ph.D. and Shannon M. Carey, Ph.D., May 2012)
- In the calendar year 2013, Substance Abuse accounted for 34.42% as the type of injuries resulting from the physical abuse inflicted on child victims as found by OKDHS.
- Besides the physical abuse substantiated findings, many substantiated cases of neglect where substance abuse was a contributing factor to the findings in the state in 2013, are as follows:
• Failure to Protect 19.94%
• Threat of Harm 19.03%
• Inadequate or Dangerous Shelter 12.21%
• Lack of Supervision 7.98%
• Source: OKDHS Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics in State FY13, produced by Office of Planning, Research, and Statistics and Child Welfare Services
- In the calendar year 2012, 322 babies were born in Oklahoma that tested positive for drugs and/or alcohol. (Oklahoma State Department of Health – Prevention’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, State of Oklahoma 2013)
These specialized civil dockets were adapted from the adult criminal Drug Court model (Wheeler & Fox, 2006). As in adult Drug Courts, substance abuse treatment and case management services form the core of the intervention; however, FDCs emphasize coordinating these functions with those of child protective services. The ultimate incentive for the participant is family reunification. A potential consequence of failure may be to terminate parental rights (TPR) or long-term foster care for the dependent children.
Find a drug court:
Oklahoma County: Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center
5905 N. Classen Ct., OKC, OK 73118
Okmulgee County: 5005 North Wood Drive
Okmulgee, OK 74447
Tulsa County: 315 S Gilcrease Museum Rd
Tulsa, Ok. 74127
Oklahoma Drug and Mental Health Courts Home
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
1200 NE 13th Street, PO Box 53277
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3277
405-522-3908 | 405-522-3851 TDD | 405-522-3650 Fax | Toll-Free, 24 Hours 1-800-522-9054
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