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Family Recovery Court to debut in Allen County

February 13, 2019

Starting tomorrow, the Allen County court system will have a new approach to families affected by substance abuse.

The Family Recovery Court, the eighth in Indiana, will begin hearing cases involving families with children found by the court to need help because of abuse and neglect by parents or guardians struggling with addiction.

Last year, the local court had 749 cases of children involving allegations of abuse and/or neglect against one or more parents and/or guardians, court officials said during a Wednesday morning news conference. They estimate about 85 percent of those cases resulted from caretakers’ struggle with addiction.

The new court aims to keep those cases the responsibility of the same professionals and provide more frequent supervision of affected families -- while cutting down the time required for caretakers to recover, said Judge Charles F. Pratt, administrative judge of the Family Division of Allen Superior Court.

“Breaking the cycle (of addiction) and helping families recover requires a new way of doing business,” Pratt said at the news conference.

Participation in the new court system, which has received provisional certification, is voluntary, officials said. Participation begins after a family is referred to the court by the Department of Child Services and an official Child in Need of Services court order is entered.

rsalter@jg.net

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