This report discusses the goals, features, and effectiveness of a Family Accountability and Recovery Court (FARC) in North Carolina, whose goal is to provide a path to recovery for women whose substance abuse has led to separation from their children.
FARC serves the rural counties of Lenoir, Wayne, and Greene counties in North Carolina. Individuals currently under court guidance are mostly women already separated from or at risk of losing custody of their children because of substance use and/or neglect. FARC’s goal is to provide guidance and support for treatment and intensive case management though weekly contact of clients with FARC staff members, recovery group meetings, and judicial supervision, with the goal of reunification with their children. FARC uses incentives and sanctions to motivate and guide women in benefitting from the resources that will enable them to be responsible and nurturing parents. FARC has become a nationally recognized model for this collaborative approach. In November of 2021, FARC was selected by the Rural Justice Collaborative (RJC) as one of nine Rural Innovation Sites that qualify as examples for other communities nationwide. During the next 3 years, the RJC will work with FARC to create education material that will be featured in an online resource center with provision for visits to FACRC by leaders from other communities. The latest addition to FARC’s support system is the House of Hope, a 16-bed transitional housing facility in Kinston, North Carolina, which opened in the spring of 2021. The House of Hope is provided by Hope Restorations, Inc., a local faith-based nonprofit organization that restores houses for rehabilitation programming. The program of House of Hope is designed to prepare residents to move into their own homes.