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The Gazette KCRG
Posted May 15, 2012
Horizons Welcomes Helping Hands from Linn County Family Treatment Court

May is Family Treatment Court month, and team members from the Linn County Family Treatment Court are raising program awareness by hosting Giving Back Day on Thursday, May 17, 2012.  This year the group will volunteer their time with Horizons, A Family Service Alliance.

Over the last five years, Linn County Family Treatment Court has been working to improve the welfare of children by educating and empowering parents battling substance abuse.  This outstanding year-long program functions with the aid of the Linn County Juvenile Court, Iowa Children’s Justice, Linn County Decat, and a partnership of area organizations.  Parents work through four phases before graduating with renewed parenting skills and sober self-confidence.  On Giving Back Day, participants will take an opportunity to uplift their community through volunteerism.

“Linn County Family Treatment Court is a crucial part of the sobriety journey.  The positive skills struggling parents learn during this process means the difference between a healthy life with their happy children, and a devastating path to self-destruction,” says Lori Hagg, Horizons Family Support Program Supervisor and member of the Linn County Family Treatment Court team.  “Horizons could not be more humbled to welcome these volunteers on Giving Back Day, and we’re proud to help raise community awareness for Family Treatment Court programs.”

“Family Treatment Court provides an opportunity for families disrupted by parental substance abuse to receive intensive, coordinated services and support.  The enhanced support provided allows us to keep many children safely at home, while their parent(s) works toward achieving and maintaining sobriety,” states Judge Susan Flaherty.  “Keeping children safely at home in this way, rather than removing them from parental custody and placing them in foster care, is the best possible outcome for the child and family. After four years of working with the Family Treatment Court, I feel as if we are just beginning to realize the potential of this model to keep families safely together while they work through some pretty significant issues.” 

Federal funding currently supports this life-changing program, however the grant dollars are soon to end.  “As our federal grant winds down, I am hopeful that we will find the support in our community that is needed to sustain the project,” Flaherty states.  Team members will volunteer at Horizons at 10:00 a.m. on May 17th.  Horizons will offer a variety of options for this group to enjoy the fulfillment of giving back to our community.

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