Provided through a specialized docket of Fairfield County Juvenile Court, Excel is a court-supervised treatment program designed to improve outcomes for families who are involved with Protective Services (PS) with their primary barrier to reunification being substance misuse. Participants include Fairfield County parents who are at least 18 who are working toward reunification. Goals of Excel (formerly known as Family Court) are:
- Enhance available services and increase recovery support networks.
- Increase parental participation and their success in recovery.
- Reduce the number of days of out-of-home placement of children.
- Reduce number of new abuse, neglect, and dependency filings within one year post commencement.
Through the use of tools for rapid substance and trauma screening, parents are offered early access to services and supports.
Excel is a strength-based program enhanced with strategic incentives. Focus is on goal-setting and achievement, with participants earning incentives for their accomplishments. Incentives have included self-care items, cleaning supplies, housewares, gift cards, and family-focused games and movies.
Referrals to Excel are made by PS. Upon acceptance into Excel, participants are expected to actively participate in treatment, refrain from using and/or possessing any mood-altering substance, submit to random drug screens, attend all required counseling sessions, appear for regularly scheduled status hearings, and comply with all rules of their treatment plan and program. Successful completion of Excel becomes part of the PS case plan for reunification.
Protecting and Advocating for Children Together (PACT)
Protecting and Advocating for Children Together (PACT) is a collaborative effort between Juvenile Court and Protective Services to serve families linked in both systems. Research shows dual-involved youth present with a range of unique challenges and needs that can lead to higher costs and further system involvement than those youth without dual-system involvement. Juvenile Court and Protective Services identify shared youth and create a family-centered team approach to serving these unique youth and families through the PACT process. PACT teams place family needs and supports at the center of their work, creating changes that work to prevent further system involvement.