Family (Dependency) Drug Court

Program Description

The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit's Family Drug Court Program is a voluntary court program designed to help substance abusing parents work towards a goal of reunification. To reach that goal, the Family Drug Court Program helps parents recover from substance abuse by referring them to a substance abuse treatment program and monitoring their progress. The program also helps make sure that parents stay in contact with their children and plan for their future. Parents submit to frequent drug testing, appear at regularly-scheduled court status hearings, and comply with other court conditions geared to accountability, rehabilitation, long-term sobriety, and cessation of criminal activity. To reunify families, this program requires that parents complete substance abuse treatment as well as other requirements set forth by the Court.

In order to enter Family Drug Court:

  1. participants must be Palm Beach County residents who are the parent(s) of children with new dependency petitions where substance abuse is identified as an issue for parent(s);
  2. the case jurisdiction is in Palm Beach County;
  3. the primary goal for the family must be reunification;
  4. the parent(s) must admit to the abuse/neglect allegation(s).

Disqualifiers include: Parents who are alleged to be sexual perpetrators, who are incompetent, suffer from an unstabilized mental disorder, are on a pain management protocol, have an advanced terminal illness, or have a long history of violent offenses, or a pending felony.

Services Provided

The following are examples of services provided by the Family Drug Court:

  • Case management and family intervention services to assess needs and assistance through the Court process
  • Linkage to an appropriate treatment program
  • Parenting skills program and other services that may be needed linkage to health care
  • Educational and vocational training and other services
  • Ongoing support and assistance in staying connected to your children while they are placed out of the home
  • Possible increased visitation as sobriety and stability are demonstrated
  • Ongoing substance abuse support

Program Location and Hours

The Family Drug Court is located at:
Main Judicial Complex
205 North Dixie Highway
Room 3.1112
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Cost of Service


For more information view the FDC Brochure pdf

Cristy Altaro
Juvenile Court Operations Manager
Debbian Livingstone
Juvenile Court Coordinator
(561) 355-6319