November 8, 2002
WHAT: Kick-off training conference for the F.I.R.S.T. Program -- Families in Recovery to Stay Together. The conference will highlight the need for collaboration to help families affected by drug abuse, and parents who have lost custody of their children, to heal and reunite. The purpose of the F.I.R.S.T. Program is to provide parents with the best opportunity possible to achieve and maintain recovery in a timely manner and to be reunified with their children. Speakers include the Honorable Judge Yvonne Mims Evans of the 26th Judicial District Court; Richard W. Jacobsen, Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services director; Dannette Smith, director of DSS Youth and Family Services Division and Grayce Crockett, director of Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health Authority.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 12, 2002, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Media interview opportunity is set for 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Hope Haven Conference Center, 120 West Craighead Road, Charlotte, NC
WHO: The F.I.R.S.T. Program is a collaborative effort of the 26th Judicial District Court, the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services Youth and Family Services Division and the Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health Authority. About 250 social workers, attorneys, judges and mental health clinicians are expected to participate. Keynote speaker is Honorable Judge William McAdam, Juvenile Magistrate, San Diego Family Drug Court. Also, Dr. Kathleen West, an epidemiologist, will speak about "Working with Substance Abusing Families in a Drug Court Environment."
WHY: The day is designed as a staff training and introduction to the new F.I.R.S.T. Program, with emphasis on the need for collaboration to ensure the best outcome for families. The existing Family Drug Treatment Court Program has shown that parents who lose custody of their children due to their substance abuse can be treated successfully and reunified with their children.