The now titled Anchor Court (AC) formerly known as and remains in the category of a Family Treatment Court (FTC) program. Anchor Court primary mission is to improve the lives of children and their families by addressing the dependency resulting from substance use of a parent or caregiver through an integrated, court-based, and multi-disciplinary team approach to achieve timely decisions, coordinated treatment, ancillary services, judicial oversight, and safe and permanent placements.
ANCHOR means the following;
Since its inception in 2008, the CC-AC has served 143 parents who suffer from long-term, chronic and severe substance use disorder and provided services for 390 children affected by their parent(s') addiction. We have graduated 60 participants since inception.
To date, grant funding has been secured in 20 separate states and federal awards totaling $2,055,923 and utilized to:
CC-AC is designated by the Council of Accountability Court Judges (CACJ) as a Model Court and as a State Peer Review Court. This court guides and assists new Family Treatment Courts and existing FTCs seeking improvement. It is also charged with evaluating and certifying FTCs for compliance with best practices and state standards, which certification is a pre-requisite to receiving state funding.
CC-AC previously served as a National Peer Learning Court by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and Children and Family Futures from 2014-2017. CC-AC received an "Award of Excellence" at a symposium to improve family recovery, safety, and stability in 2012, as well as an award for "Top Family Court" for the State of Georgia.
The CC-AC was a leader in creating the Georgia Family Treatment Court standards which were approved by the Judicial Council of Georgia. Judge Cole serves as a CACJ committee chair (the only Juvenile Court Judge to hold such a position) and serves on the CACJ Funding Committee, which allocates the state funding to the 168 accountability courts across the state.
CC-AC Program Participants are required to:
To date, our program has included 27 drug free babies born to participants (others have been born drug-free after graduating the program). According to a U.S. Office of Justice Program study, the estimated costs related to the birth of a drug and/or alcohol exposed baby are between $750,000 and $1,400,000. The total estimated savings relating to drug free babies by our Family Treatment Court is between $20 million and $37.8 million dollars. These are significant savings by our county, city, schools, state and federal governments.
To date, grant funding has been secured in 20 separate states and federal awards totaling $2,247,470 and utilized to:
The multi-disciplinary team meets bi-weekly and includes: Presiding Judge Thomas L. Cole, the AC Coordinator, the AC Case Manager; the Division of Family and Children Services foster care and family preservation case managers (DFCS); the Special Assistant Attorney General representing DFCS; the Parent’s Attorney; the Child’s Attorney through Child Advocacy Office; a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA); the treatment provider, Recovery Place, Inc.; Community Policing through the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department; a Judicial Citizen Panel Review representative; an Assistant District Attorney; ancillary services with Public Defender, and other persons as needed.