New family drug court to open in Clermont County this month

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Family Dependency Treatment Court is set to open in late September in Clermont County. The court was initiated by Juvenile Court Judge James Shriver and developed in conjunction with many agencies and parties in the Clermont County legal community, including Children's Services, the Clermont County Health and Recovery Board, the prosecutor's office and Clermont Recovery Center, which will provide treatment programs for participants. The court is designed to treat parents facing drug addiction and ultimately reunite families that have been separated due to drug abuse.

Participants face certain requirements. They must have had their children removed from their care by Children's Services due to a moderate to severe drug problem, be willing to participate in a 12-step program and complete program requirements, such as weekly drug-screenings. In addition to helping with family reunification, the program also provides additional incentives for sobriety such as gift certificates and public recognition.

Clermont County created the program in response to the increasing need for Children's Services involvement with families due in part to agrowing heroin epidemic in the county. The Enquirer reports that Clermont County had the highest number of opiate-related deaths in Ohio in 2013 and "the state's largest increase in deaths from opiate overdoses between 2000 and 2010." The program will help to combat this trend and keep children out of foster care by helping families impacted by drug abuse through treatment and support.

Angela Livesay is the program coordinator for the new court docket. She can be reached at 513-732-7685 or by email at