News Item
Dakota County Earns National Achievement Award For Family Dependency Treatment Court

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2021


The Dakota County Family Dependency Treatment Court has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The Award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
“The collaborative, intensive work done by the Family Dependency Treatment Court team helps set parents on a path of long-term sobriety, breaking trauma cycles and keeping parents and their children together,” said Dakota County Judge Michael Mayer. “This Award reflects the team’s dedication and compassion, and represents what we can do together as a justice community to support individuals in achieving recovery, reduce recidivism, and ensure children have a safe, stable, and nurturing environment.”
Dakota County implemented the Family Dependency Treatment Court (FDTC) program in 2006 in an attempt to proactively address chemical substance issues negatively impacting families. It was one of the first counties to lead the family drug court effort in Minnesota.
The problem-solving alternative court process uses the power of the juvenile court in collaboration with other participants, including county and court-appointed attorneys, treatment providers, social workers, guardians ad Litem, and community leaders, to provide professional and peer support in assisting parents whose children have been removed from their care in child protection actions due to substance abuse. Through the FDTC, participants receive the support needed to help them with ongoing sobriety, mental health, stable housing, reliable transportation, employment, and long-term sober supports.
NACo President Gary Moore said, “Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe, and vibrant communities across America.”
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide, including those for children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement, and many more. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.