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Participation Requirements, Program Rules, and Graduation Requirements

Participation Requirements, Program Rules, and Graduation Requirements

Participation Requirements

Yes. Although getting your children back is up to you, Family Treatment Court can help you as you are going through the dependency process and provide support that you won’t get through the regular system. You will have an entire treatment team on your side.

There are many similarities between Drug Court and Family Treatment Court. The main difference, however, is that Drug Court focuses primarily on substance use disorder treatment and FTC does not use jail. In addition to treatment, the Family Treatment Court team looks at your parenting skills and abilities and helps you develop ways to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for your children. Throughout the program, you and your team develop and follow a plan to address the issues that were presented on your initial dependency petition.

During the first phase of FTC, you will come to court every week, then you will advance to coming every other week, then every month, then every 4-6 weeks, so the Family Treatment Court Judge can review how you are doing making progress toward your goals.  As you advance in the program, court hearings will take place less often.  However, in certain circumstances, you may be asked to come in weekly.  


Family Treatment Court is in session on Wednesdays in Kent starting at 10:30am and Thursdays in Seattle starting at 1:30pm. Court usually lasts about 2 hours but could be longer depending on the calendar. You will be expected to stay until the courtroom is dismissed. If you have an urgent matter and need to leave, please notify the Family Treatment Court Program Supervisor a day prior to court.

Yes, you will be required to participate in treatment which includes individual and group counseling. Like court, treatment appointments may take place less often as you advance in the program.

Missing treatment or group without authorization is a violation of your court order. You can be put on a Structured Recovery Plan for continually violating your court order, not following your treatment plan, and not following Family Treatment Court rules.

Yes, UAs and other types of drug tests are a very important tool used to ensure compliance with the program. To test for drug use, random (unscheduled), and observed drug testing can take place two to three times a week. Generally, you will test less frequently as you move through the program levels. 


Incentives are rewards for your progress and successes as you move through the program. Success can include: regular attendance at treatment, ongoing periods of sobriety (negative drug tests for 30, 60, 90, and 120 days, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year and 18 months), and advancing to the next level of the program. Incentives can include gift cards, toys for children, recovery books, in-court recognition by the judge, vouchers for food or clothing, and passes for family outings such as movies or the zoo.  

The Family Treatment Court uses responses if you don't follow the court order. The kind of behavior resulting in a response can include: positive, or dilute UAs, not showing up for UA testing, failing to go to treatment, or failing to come to court. Responses range from conversations with the judge to writing assignments, peer mentoring, increased sober supports, and accountability panel.

There are four phases in Family Treatment Court, each with its own set of requirements. In order to advance to the next phase, you have to complete all requirements for that phase. For example, 90 days of consecutive sober time is one of the requirements you need to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3. To graduate, you must complete the requirements of all four phases.

A requirement in the fourth phase is to complete all requirements of the DCYF Court Report. The Court Report is a very important document that is filed with the court. It summarizes what needs to happen in order to have your children returned to your custody and the dependency dismissed. Your DCYF social worker prepares the Court Report based on your initial meetings. Please make sure you talk to your Social Worker about what you are required to do.

We hope that parents successfully complete the Family Treatment Court program in about 12 months. Most parents are expected to complete the program in 18 months; however, some parents will take longer than 18 months.

Relapse alone is not a reason to end a parent's participation in the program. If you relapse, you should notify someone on your team immediately.

Your Wrap-Around Team consists of your FTC team, your family and any other people you choose to be part of your team. Through regular Wrap-Around meetings, you and your team develop a plan to support your progress and your family. This becomes your family's plan of care and is built around the strengths of your child and family. More information about this can be obtained through your social worker.