A word from one of the JDC Family Services Case Managers:
As a Juvenile Drug Court Family Services Case Manager we have the opportunity to build relationships with our clients that give them the support they need to succeed. All of our clients have various challenges and strengths. I have seen clients who struggle with everything from mental health issues to family dysfunction and are using drugs to help cope with these situations. We have had teens come through our program who have parents that aren’t supportive of their work toward sobriety. Some parents won’t attend court, will call our staff for every little infraction to try and get their child in trouble, and consistently express their disbelief that their child will be anything more than an addict. However, through working with their Family Case Manager many of these families receive help and support to move past these issues. We have helped set up family therapy, parenting classes, individual therapy, and more in order to give parents and teens support in their family relationships. Once these are put in place we see our teens desiring to engage in therapy and work through issues with parents. We see parents grow in supporting their teens and we see teens grow in confidence that, not only can they complete Juvenile Drug Court, but they can succeed as a sober and necessary member of society. We have watched teens come into our program who are struggling to stop using but when they leave they are not only sober, but engaged in sports, taking classes toward college through Upward Bound at HCC, working within community non-profits such as Teens Have Choices, the SPCA, Habitat for Humanity and others. They also leave investing in positive relationships with family members and friends. Our participants’ attitudes change while in our program and, because of our Family Case Managers, many of them leave realizing that, despite past belief, many adults desire to support and help them accomplish great things in life. It is rewarding to work with teenagers who leave our program making us proud to have known them and honored to have worked with them toward their sobriety.