Iowa Judicial Branch Receives Two Federal Grants PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judical Branch   
Friday, 18 January 2013 09:07

Des Moines, January 17, 2013 - The Iowa Judicial Branch, along with the Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Governor's Office on Drug Control Policy, recently received one of seventeen new federal Regional Partnership Grants to address the safety and well-being of children whose parents have substance-related disorders and are involved with the child welfare system.

Des Moines, January 17, 2013 — The Iowa Judicial Branch, along with the Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Governor's Office on Drug Control Policy, recently received one of seventeen new federal Regional Partnership Grants to address the safety and well-being of children whose parents have substance-related disorders and are involved with the child welfare system. The five-year grant is for $500,000 a year and will serve 350 families.

The grant will fund the development of a pilot project in Wapello County that provides individualized care plans for families based on specific needs identified through trauma-informed assessments. The services will focus on the well-being of the children and families. Children and parents will take two parenting skills and family functioning classes and receive post recovery support services. The Wapello County project partners are the Iowa Department of Human Services, First Resources, and Four Oaks.

The grant will also fund both multidisciplinary and profession-specific training. The multidisciplinary training will prepare members of the child welfare and substance abuse treatment fields for collaborative efforts. The profession-specific trainings will target child welfare professionals, substance abuse treatment professionals, and judicial and legal professionals. All trainings will be statewide and continue after completion of the grant.

An evaluation will be conducted by Drs. Jody Brook and Becci Akin from the University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare in Lawrence, Kansas. The evaluation plan incorporates a multi-method approach to collect data that will be used to assess the extent to which the project is implemented as planned and objectives are achieved.

The Iowa Judicial Branch also received a two-year continuation of a Parents and Children Together: A Family Drug Court Initiative (PACT) grant originally awarded in November, 2007. The grant funds family treatment courts in six counties. The continuation is for $500,000 a year for two years. The two-year continuation grant will fund family treatment courts in Wapello, Polk, Linn, Scott, and Woodbury counties, and the combined court in Cherokee and Ida counties. Family treatment courts offer a comprehensive approach to treating parents with substance-related disorders, while maintaining the goal of reuniting the family.

PACT grant activities will focus on continued implementation of the six family treatment courts with ongoing training and information sharing between the sites and state level partners. The grant also funds case planning that involves entire families to promote family self-sufficiency, family treatment services, increased family support, and additional children's services

The original PACT grant was for parents with younger children, from birth to five years old. The continuation grant is for children from birth to 10 years old. The family treatment courts plan to serve an additional 180 families over the next two years. Iowa was one of only eight states to receive a continuation grant.

Through the original five-year grant, the six family treatment courts served 399 families comprising 481 parents or caregivers and 773 children. More than half the children were in foster care or staying with other family members for safety reasons prior to their parent or parents enrolling in treatment court. Of those children, nearly 80 percent were reunited with their families when their parent or parents completed treatment court. Estimates show that the family treatment courts have generated more than $2 million dollars in cost avoidance for the state in their first five years of operation.

Both of these grants were awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau entitled: "Targeted Grant to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for Children Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse."

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