Family Reunification Court (formally known as Family Drug Court)
Lorain County Family Reunification Court was developed in 1999 to address Domestic Relations Court cases involving adjudications of abuse, neglect and/or dependency; with the primary issue preventing effective parenting being alcohol and/or drug problems. Clients will have a filing of Abuse, Neglect or Dependence by the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office on behalf of Lorain County Children Service. The Family Reunification Court team consists of representatives from the Domestic Relations Court Judge and Magistrate, the Drug Court Coordinator, Lorain County Children Services (LCCS), Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (LCADA), the Elyria YWCA, the individual Drug/Alcohol counselor, Nord Center (mental health) counselor, Faith House and Voices for Children. The Judge and team meet weekly to staff the Family Reunification Court cases prior to weekly court hearings with the participants. The Team advocates, supports, reports compliance and non-compliance, submits plans and requests interventions and sanctions. The Court monitors compliance, reviews plans, addresses participants, affords participants an opportunity to be heard and issues and enforces court orders. Participation in Family Reunification Court is voluntary, but upon agreeing to participate, a Participant Agreement is required to be signed making all recommendations an order of the court. Compliance is expected with all program components.
The goal of the Family Reunification Court is to expedite the reunification of children with their parents in abuse, neglect and dependency cases by eliminating their drug/alcohol use, or to expedite permanency in placement for children whose parents are unable or unwilling to maintain sobriety and comply with court orders. The goal is to have participants completing the program in 10-12 months with reunification expected within that time.
Family Reunification Court assists clients of Lorain County Children Services (LCCS) who are drug and/or alcohol dependent, their children have either been adjudicated abused, neglected, or dependent, or the clients are involved with LCCS, and their case is awaiting adjudication. To be eligible for this program, potential participant would need to engage in substance abuse treatment. The Family Reunification Court partners with The LCADAway and North Ohio Recovery Association (N.O.R.A).
Referrals may be made formally and informally from many sources, including Judges, attorneys, prosecutors, case managers, self-referrals, magistrates, substance abuse counselors. Treatment team members shall pass along referral information to the Program Case Manager from all sources.
Please refer to the following linked documents for more detailed information:
FAMILY REUNIFICATION COURT PROGRAM INFORMATION
*Family Reunification Court Program Description
*Family Reunification Court Participant Handbook
*Family Reunification Referral Form
*The LCADAway (The LCADA Way – The LCADA Way)
*NORA (NORA – Northern Ohio Recovery Association (norainc.org))
*Nord Center (The Nord Center | Crisis Services | Sexual Assault Hotline)
*The YMCA Housing (Housing for Women and Children – YWCA Elyria)
ADDITIONAL RECOVERY RESOURCES LINKS
*OhioMRAS (Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services | Ohio.gov)
*Road to Hope (The Road to Hope House, Inc. (road-to-hope.org)
*Let’s Get Real (LET’S GET REAL, INC. – Home (letsgetrealinc.org)
For more information, call Courtney Porter, Family Reunification Case Manager at 440-329-5698.