The Union Recorder

March 6, 2013

Family drug court grant proposal moves forward

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin County is applying for an Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention grant for a Family Drug Court program.

Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court Judge Phil Spivey detailed the three-year $650,000 grant to the Baldwin County Commissioners Tuesday.

Spivey said the state hasn’t done a sufficient job unifying foster children with their parents who are often substance abusers or mentally unstable.

The court could address a growing local problem by protecting the safety and welfare of children while giving parents tools they need to become sober, responsive caregivers.

Cobb and Chatham counties have successful family drug courts up and running.

If approved, the court would cover Baldwin, Jones, Wilkinson and Putnam counties with a mission to ensure safe and permanent families by strengthening the relationship through intensive recovery treatment and collaborative efforts to create drug-free families.

Spivey said a large sum of the $650,000 would support transportation services of these clients to Baldwin. 

The request for proposal requires a 25 percent match from in-kind services. Baldwin County has no cash commitment for the grant.

The target population is individuals with substance abuse disorders and/or mental health disorders, including trauma history. 

Participants must be non-violent offenders. Stringent drug tests are required with graduated sanctions for positive tests. 

The family drug court team consists of the designated judge, contracted attorney, special assistant attorney general, court coordinator, probation specialist, family therapist, clinicians, the Division of Child and Family Services case manager and the Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Funding for contracted employees comes through the grant award.