The authors of this paper examine the effects of participation in an integrated family dependency treatment court, on child welfare outcomes, using propensity score matching of FDTC participants compared with a control group.
Family dependency treatment courts (FDTC) have recently emerged as an innovative model for addressing the needs of families involved with the child welfare system and affected by substance use disorders. The current study examined the effect of participation in an integrated FDTC on family reunification, time to permanency, and re-entry into care. Propensity score methods were used to match a group of 95 FDTC participants to non-FDTC participants from a demographically and geographically similar comparison county. Findings indicated that FDTC participation increased families' likelihood of reunification and decreased the odds that children would re-enter care within 12 months of achieving permanency. However, FDTC participation also significantly increased time to permanency. Implications of these findings for research, policy, and practice are discussed. Publisher Abstract Provided