On May 25, 2001, County and Court officials came together to announce the establishment of a new branch of Family Court to handle cases involving the abuse of drugs and alcohol by parents. The Family Treatment Court (FTC) is a project initiated by the Erie County Family Court in partnership with the Erie County Department of Social Services. The mission of the Erie County FTC is to provide safe, permanent, healthy homes for children in the shortest possible time. The treatment court model represents a comprehensive approach designed to act in the best interest of the child by maximizing the opportunity for reunification or preservation of the family. It seeks to do so by breaking the cycle of addiction as well as the patterns of neglect associated with the parents’ chemical dependency. The Honorable Margaret O. Szczur presides over the FTC whose objective is to provide early intervention and speedy enrollment of substance-addicted parents into appropriate treatment programs and other services. Since its inception, over 150 participants have graduated the program. Family Treatment Court has served over 1200 children in Erie County.
Treatment Court Coordinator: Case Management is supervised by the Treatment Court Coordinator who is employed by the Court, is a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) and holds a NYS Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor Training Certificate (CASAC-T). The Coordinator oversees the team of Treatment Court Case Managers. The Coordinator also oversees all record keeping, statistical reporting, program material development, operational program development, personnel issues, budget, grant writing and grant management.
Family Treatment Court Case Manager: Currently Erie County has one full-time Case Manager for the Adult Family Treatment Court. Case Managers possess Bachelor Degrees and have received extensive training in substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as attended Federal and State level trainings provided to the Drug Treatment Courts. Case Managers perform initial screenings on referred respondents, link them with treatment, and provide the ongoing reports on participant compliance with their chemical dependency and recovery programs. The Case Managers monitor all areas of treatment to ensure that the program is delivering the proper level of treatment and services needed during all phases of the program. The Case Managers act as liaisons between Family Court and treatment providers.
** Please note: respondents are referred to the Adult Family Treatment Court by the Family Court Judge presiding over their Neglect case.
Erie Family and Juvenile Treatment Courts
Hon. Margaret O. Szczur
Phone: (716) 845-7481