A year after a Wayne County court started a non-traditional program, its Family Recovery Court is seeing some success and is hoping to grow.
Wayne County Family Recovery Court expands the traditional role of the non-criminal court from hearing, mediating and ordering solutions. The Family Recovery Court aim is to change behaviors of parents whose family lives have disintegrated because of substance abuse and that the state has taken custody of their children.
Such cases are called CHINS by the Indiana Department of Child Services. It stands for Children In Need of Services. In Wayne County, Superior Court 3 supervises such cases. These are civil cases – not criminal – and are out of the limelight because they are not subject to public reporting since they involve sensitive, personal information.
But, according to DCS, there were 134 active CHINS cases in Wayne County on Aug. 1, with 117 out-of-home placements for children.The Family Recovery Court is a 9- 18-month program for parents diagnosed with substance abuse disorder whose child(ren) are Children In Need of Services (CHINS). It is one of 22 similar programs in Indiana, funded by grants from the Supreme Court.
The FRC provides services including advocacy, parenting education, counseling, sobriety and recovery, drug testing and transportation help.
The program requires frequent court appearances, substance abuse treatment, random drug testing and involvement with community supports. The FRC rewards parents for positive behavior and imposes responses for non-compliant behavior in order to change their behavior and assist parents in being successful.
For information about the program or to apply, parents in CHINS may contact their DCS case manager, the Court-Appointed Special Advocate program or contact co-coordinators Morgan Walker or Emily Graham at the Wayne County Administration Building lower level, 401 E. Main St., Richmond; 765-973-9279.
>> A longer article about Family Recovery Court is in the Sept. 7, 2022, print edition of Western Wayne News.

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