Review of Specialized Family Drug Courts: Key Issues in Handling Child Abuse and Neglect Cases

Research Report

Review of Specialized Family Drug Courts: Key Issues in Handling Child Abuse and Neglect Cases

Abstract

Family drug courts (FDCs) are designed to help abused and neglected children by addressing parental substance abuse within the context of family court child-protection cases. Specifically, FDCs handle cases (1) involving parental rights in which an adult is the respondent; (2) that come before the court through either a civil or criminal process; and (3) that arise out of the substance abuse of the adult parent and deal with custody and visitation disputes; abuse, neglect, and dependency matters; petitions to terminate parental rights; guardianship proceedings; or other laws, restrictions, or limitations of parental rights. According to a recent drug court clearinghouse report, 10 FDCs are operating in the United States and 10 more are in the planning stage.

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