The Seneca County Family Intervention Court (“FIC”) is a specialized docket certified by the Supreme Court of Ohio designed to assist a juvenile suffering from mental illness and/or drug and alcohol abuse. The FIC not only works with the youth, but also with his or her entire family in an effort to connect the family with the resources and services they need to support the youth. FIC is a collaboration between the Court and several area agencies, including but not limited to Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services, who work together to assist juveniles and their families improve their family unit as a whole while at the same time focusing on the youth’s mental health and/or alcohol and drug related issues.
The length of a time a family typically spends in FIC is nine to eighteen months - the ultimate length of time is determined by each family’s progress. During this time, juveniles and their families go through four phases. Hearings are held every week to every four weeks, depending on the family’s current program phase. Throughout the entire program, however, the FIC Coordinator, Case Managers, and Probation Officers closely monitor the youth and family outside of the Courtroom via mandatory weekly meetings, curfew calls, group activities, and regular contact with parents. One of the keys to success in the FIC is mandatory parent participation and compliance. Parents are required to attend parenting groups, family counseling sessions, and all Court hearings.
Upon successful completion of all four FIC phases, a youth and his/her family are successfully graduated from the program. In some instances, the youth’s underlying charge may be dismissed. Regardless, upon successful completion of the program, the youth and his/her family should have the tools they need to successfully manage the youth’s mental illness and/or drug and alcohol problem.
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