Why KidSide is committed to helping Family Court Services:
We all know the story. Watching children become victimized by severe parental conflict when their families do not have the necessary resources to obtain the assistance and counseling they need. The effects are always profound. They can be insidious, with children slowly developing a skewed notion of relationships and conflict that accompanies them for life. They can be dramatic and result in abuse, abduction and a myriad of other traumatic situations. It is precisely these children from highly conflicted families with limited resources who tend to fall through the cracks of our judicial system. The problems they can face as they continue through life may include: school difficulties, truancy, negative contact with the law, alcohol and/or drug use and/or abuse, anxiety, depression, relationship problems…. And that does not account for those children who suffer quietly, and alone.
Fortunately, Family Court Services protects thousands of children in the court system each year from emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and from parents who abuse alcohol and drugs. With its unique, court-sanctioned ability to take on the highest conflict (and most time-consuming) cases and remove parenting and children’s issues from the adversarial context, Family Court Services has dramatically reduced our courts’ case loads, while providing for immediate stabilization of families. Its on-site services have become an essential resource to the Family Court, including crisis assistance, supervised timesharing, on-site drug and breathalyzer testing, counseling, identification of need for and referral to community based services, family reunification and parenting coordination. In essence, Family Court Services does everything possible to help parents re-focus their energies toward parenting their children more effectively and consistently rather than continuing the bitter conflict that jeopardizes their children’s wellbeing.
Unfortunately, Family Court Services is constantly threatened by budgetary cutbacks and diminishing resources. The recent limitation placed on judicial referrals due to lack of staff and resources is a grave concern and represents an urgent call for action to KidSide and all members of the community. This reduction is dangerous and critical for those families that will be excluded from services. We need your help.