|In 2000, Thurston County was the first Court in the state to develop a Treatment Court program for parents whose children have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
To a large degree, this program follows the model of criminal drug courts, requiring weekly court appearances and participation in intensive drug and alcohol treatment. Parents are additionally required to be fully engaged in services to correct other parental deficiencies and are assigned a DSHS social worker. The frequent formal court contact with parents provides an opportunity to validate good work and redirect those who may be getting off track.
Many parents have been reunited with their children. The reunification rate is significantly higher than for parents who do not participate in the
Family Recovery Court program.