Family Treatment Drug Court Track

About the Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC) Track

The Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC) Track is a mandatory family drug court in the Separate Juvenile Court in Lancaster County Nebraska. Family Drug Courts are specialized dependency courts focused on families with substance use and abuse. The FTDC Track seeks to:

  • Establish a network of evidence-based service providers,
  • Provide ongoing social support for parents,
  • Provide for self assessment, and
  • Ensure the healthy emotional and physical development of children

Family drug courts rely on the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence and the tools of procedural justice to ensure autonomy and fairness. They are characterized by more frequent review hearings and meetings, escalating sanctions, and rewards systems. The FTDC Track adheres to these central features and can be distinguished from traditional dependency courts on 5 components:

  • Identification and selections of families with substance abuse
  • Monthly team meetings
  • 90-day review hearings
  • Corrective measures
  • Specialized trauma-informed substance abuse and parenting services, including
    1. Specialized case management with additional training for workers,
    2. Consultation for workers, and
    3. Regular drug testing.

Nebraska Resource Project for Vulnerable Young Children role in he Family Treatment Drug Court

The Nebraska Resource Project for Vulnerable Young Children works with the Family Treatment Drug Court in four roles:

  • Coordinating Young Child Services: The NRPVYC provides training and consultation for Child-Parent Psychotherapy, trainings on trauma-screenings for infants and toddlers, and general support for young child services. Additionally, the project provides technical assistance in providing young child services in drug court cases. The NRPVYC emphasizes the importance of relying on evidence-based practicing to address trauma in young children.
  • Reflective Consultation: The NRPVYC provides Reflective Consultation, group sessions with a facilitator that build a collaborative relationship for learning and support, for the specialized FTDC caseworkers. These sessions provide a mutually respectful place to discuss and work through the emotional and cognitive experiences of their work, including secondary trauma, to learn from past experiences and apply those lessons in the future. The sessions seek to foster an open relationship between group-members and the families they work with.
  • Technical Assistance: The NRPVYC helps ensure the Track adheres to evidence based practices and provides consultation for the Track both in and out of court as needed. Additionally, the NRPVYC creates and produces materials, such as a self-assessment, the Team Meeting form and a FTDC brochure.
  • Evaluation: The NRPVYC is conducting a 2-part evaluation of the FTDC. The Evaluation examines how the dependency court process is affected by the changes and how parents’ experiences with the process are affected by the changes. The parent interviews are from families on the FTDC Track and a control group of families not on the FTDC Track. Case characteristics and progression data is collected through case file reviews and parents are interviewed about their experiences after Family Team Meetings. Annual reports are provided to the stakeholders. Data collection is ongoing.

Publications of the Family Treatment Drug Court Evaluation