The Family Drug Treatment Court: From establishment to practice and beyond

Magistrate  Kay  Macpherson2, Magistrate Greg Levine2, Ms Viv Mortell2, Miss Elisa Buggy1

1Judicial College Of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 2Children’s Court of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 3Department of Health and Human Services, Melbourne, Australia

The Family Drug Treatment Court was established in Victoria in 2014. The first of its kind in Australia, it has been developed using the principles of solutions-focused courts to address parental substance misuse where children have been removed from the family home due to the unacceptable risk this has caused. The Family Drug Treatment Court represents a fundamental shift in the way child protection matters are dealt with in the family division of the Children’s Court.

This panel presentation, featuring the Churchill Fellow and first Magistrate of the FDTC, the current Magistrate of the FDTC, and the Program Manager of the program will explore the design and development of the model, its implementation, and what has been found to work in this ground-breaking initiative (as well as what doesn’t).  Audience participation is encouraged and questions will be welcomed from the floor.

Biography:

Elisa is a passionate advocate of humanising the justice system, and an avid explorer of best practice in health approaches to the criminal justice system.  She has managed Drug Courts in two Australian States and established the first Family Drug Treatment Court in the country.  She has presented extensively, both nationally and internationally on topics relates to solutions focused courts and is actively working on a world class education program for Victoria’s Drug Court.  She loves meeting new people and sharing her passions with others.

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