Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the funds will be distributed throughout the Sixth Judicial District, but the entire grant will only be used for the Tompkins County Family Treatment Court.
ITHACA, N.Y. — The Tompkins County Family Treatment Court will see a financial boost for the next five years thanks to a grant awarded to the Sixth Judicial District, which comprises the local court.
The $2,105,489 grant was awarded in September by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and began going into effect this month. The local family court works with child neglect cases where parental substance abuse is a factor.
According to a news release, the money “will expand the capacity of the County’s Family Treatment Court in response to the opioid epidemic’s impact on local families and the growing number of parents opting to participate in the Court’s intensively supervised treatment programs.”
The funding locally will be used to support peer recovery support specialists, a part-time public health nurse, a mental health liaison and substance abuse counselors. The voluntary court is intended to help children get back into their parent’s custody as long as the parent can provide a safe, stable home for the child.
“FTCs have been shown to have a positive effect on outcomes in child welfare cases. This grant will enable the Tompkins County FTC to reach more families in carrying out its critical mission. I wish to extend my appreciation to SAMHSA for its support; and to the Court’s
Presiding Judge, Hon. John C. Rowley, and staff, including FTC coordinator Mindy Thomas, for their tireless efforts in developing and expanding the reach of the FTC and securing this very sizable SAMHSA grant,” said Sixth Judicial District Administrative Judge Molly Fitzgerald in a news release.
The Tompkins court currently works with about 65 families and more than 120 children.