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Family Treatment Court

The Gwinnett Family Treatment Court (GFTC) was implemented in 2020 with Juvenile Court Judge Simms presiding. The program is aimed at positively addressing substance abuse issues of parents to ensure the safety and well-being of children. It seeks to limit foster care stays and facilitate healthy, speedy and successful family reunification. The mission of GFTC is to ensure safe and permanent relationships through intensive recovery treatment and collaborative efforts with View Point Health, the Department of Family and Children Services, and other community partners to create drug-free families. Through a holistic, strength-based, community supported program, the goal is to work effectively with each participant to break the cycle of addiction, to keep children in the home and/or to increase the possibility of reunification, to significantly reduce the likelihood of recidivism, and to build a lasting foundation for sober care giving within a unified, healthy family environment.

 

Family Treatment Court Team

The GFTC team is made up of Judge Simms, the FTC Coordinator, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL), a Special Assistant Attorney General (SAAG), representatives from View Point health, a surveillance officer, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), two parent attorneys, and liaisons from the Department of Children and Family Services (DFCS).

 

Eligibility Requirements & Target Population

Potential participants shall be at least 18 years of age, live in Gwinnett county and, must have an identifiable substance abuse or dependence problem that interferes with their parental caregiving capacity. Targeted participants will include those that are in the moderate to high risk/need range as determined by the use of a Level of Service/Case Management inventory (LS/CMI).

 

Program Parameters

The program is 18 to 24 months and divided into four phases: Orientation, Recovery, Stability and Maintenance. GFTC has partnered with View Point Health to provide substance abuse treatment and counseling to participants. Each participant will have an individualized case plan developed by the GFTC Coordinator, in conjunction with View Point, to address the participant’s individual needs. Participants will be randomly drug screened at least twice a week, will attend all classes and treatment as required by their case plan, and will report to court the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 3:00. Participants are also required to waive their 4th amendment rights so that the GFTC surveillance officer may perform random house checks to ensure the participant’s compliance with the program. Prior to each court session, the GFTC team will meet to discuss the participants treatment needs and address any compliance issues. GFTC understands the importance of recognizing and encouraging participants that work hard in the program and are active in their recovery. Participants can earn incentives for achievements such as phasing up to a higher level, reaching a sobriety milestone, consistent negative drug screens, or positive attendance and interaction in court and treatment classes. Alternatively, sanctions are a necessary component of the GFTC and are imposed in an effort to motivate and assist participants in their recovery. Sanctions will be issues for non-complaint behavior such as missing court or treatment, testing positive for drugs, or failing to participate in treatment, or having an overall bad attitude.

 

Contact

If your client is interested in GFTC, or you want more information about the program, please contact GFTC Coordinator, Lisa Pappas, at 770-619-6084 or via email at Lisa.Pappas@gwinnettcounty.com