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Parents and Children Together: A Family Drug Court Initiative


The Judicial Branch received a 5 year $500,000 a year grant from the Children’s Bureau in October 2007. This collaborative grant, Parents and Children Together (PACT): A Family Drug Court Initiative, will implement a community based approach to substance abuse treatment that supports the family to remain or regain the role as primary parents for their children. The statewide grant has five pilot county sites: Linn, Polk, Scott, Wapello, and Woodbury. The objectives are:

1)     Increasing the safety, permanency and well-being of children by addressing the substance abuse treatment programming and service gaps for parents through a community collaborative planning approach,

2)     Through a comprehensive training program, creating a common vision of best practices for families with substance abuse problems and involved in the child welfare system due to abuse or neglect of their children,

3)     Documenting key project elements that support families to successfully protect their children while maintaining a sober lifestyle.

4)     Establishing family drug court in each pilot site, as an essential element

The State Partnership Team, which includes governmental, community and provider agency members, will address state policy and procedural barriers that prevent effective treatment. The project will serve 200 families using an evidence based substance abuse family treatment model that incorporates family drug court. Each site was selected because of the high level of substance abuse issues, primarily methamphetamine, an existent collaborative in each community willing to develop new services for children and their families, and a committed judge who is willing to establish a family drug court.


Through this grant, the State will:

1)     Document community decisions that facilitate successful programming to achieve permanency for children,

2)     Describe the barriers to reunification for children and the solutions that are effective in supporting families to successfully remain sober and reunify with their children,

3)     Provide an independent evaluation of each site and its outcomes in relation to the federal guidelines,

4)     Develop a replication plan and encourage the integration of successful elements of the grant in the other judicial districts.

For more information, please contact Gail Barber, 515 281-6209 or at


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