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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Department of Human Services has received a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Family Services that will amount to nearly $563,000 to implement a Family Treatment Court for four years.
The Dunn County Board approved a budget amendment of $187,500 at the January 16 meeting to account for the grant money in the 2019 budget.
According to information included with the budget amendment resolution, Family Treatment Court provides an alternative to traditional child protective service court interventions.
Family Treatment Courts unify substance use treatment, child welfare services and mental health treatment in what is described as a “non-adversarial approach.”
Family Treatment Courts provide a safe environment for children, intensive judicial monitoring and interventions to treat substance use disorders in parents as well as other risk factors.
The outcomes for Family Treatment Court include higher rates of participation in treatment and longer stays in substance abuse treatment, reunification of families, and a shorter amount of time that children stay in foster care.
The grant received by Dunn County includes $62,500 for planning and $125,000 per year for four years for the programming.
With the grant funding, the Department of Human Services will join the Criminal Justice Collaborating Division to coordinate the implementation of the Family Treatment Court.
Launching the Family Treatment Court will include hiring an FTC coordinator and a part-time grant funded program assistant/clerical support person.
Funding also will allow key stakeholders to visit a model Family Treatment Court program and to participate in state and national drug court conferences.
The grant funding for this year includes approximately $90,500 for salaries and benefits, $14,000 for training and seminars, $25,000 for drug testing and $14,000 for Arbor Place as well as money for computers and equipment, office supplies, travel and lodging.
The Family Treatment Court program is expected to begin in July.