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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Jefferson County program helps parents regain child custody

Unfortunately, sometimes being with one or both parents is not in the best interests of a child. In certain situations, like an abusive home or the custodial parent suffering from substance abuse, Child Protective Services (CPS) and the courts may have to step in and take legal custody away from the parent(s). Once a parent has had custody of their child taken away, it is often difficult to get any kind of child custody modification or to have custody reinstated.

A judge in Jefferson County noticed that many parents were unable to persuade the state to return their children to them, even though they had overcome their substance addiction. In response, he helped to develop a drug court to assist them. Through the drug court, participants go through a rehabilitation program that is overseen by a judge. In cases where people have lost child custody, graduating may help them to regain legal custody. Jefferson County's drug court, which has been available for about eight years, sees 60 percent of its participants graduate.

Two more mothers have been reunited with their children after graduating from the drug court.

One of the women suffered from a prescription medication addiction, the other alcoholism, and both had their children removed after serious incidents occurred that were caused, at least in part, by negligence due to their addictions. It was not reported, however, whether either of the two mothers had regained full legal custody of their children.

If you or a loved one has lost child custody due to substance abuse, you may want to consult with an attorney. They can help you find out about any programs like Jefferson County's that may be available in your area.

Source: 12 News Now, "Southeast Texas moms get second chance through drug court," Angel San Juan, March 28, 2013

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