Child Focus and Court Partner for Families
Clermont County Domestic Relations Court Judge Birck became aware early on in her term that litigants were struggling to secure much needed social services for their children, their families, and themselves. How does the Domestic Relations Court issue realistic orders when on a daily basis litigants are facing drug abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, homelessness, and loss of employment? Judge Birck knew that social services are available in Clermont County to address these issues but was there a way for the Court to connect litigants to these services before they left the building and ultimately fell through the cracks?
Judge Birck met with Child Focus to plan and develop a strategy to mitigate these issues that often resulted in repeat offenses, not addressing the root causes. The collaboration between Domestic Relations Court and Child Focus paved the way for the creation of a behavioral health court liaison position. In mid-March, Susan Grabowski, a 36-year veteran from Clermont County Children’s Services, was hired by Child Focus to serve as a liaison between the Court and Child Focus. Funding for the court liaison position was made possible through a two-year Federal grant they obtained through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This grant will bridge behavioral health and social services to families involved in the court system. Susan is a great addition to the Domestic Relations team. "This grant provides us with another wonderful opportunity that highlights the importance of community stakeholders coming together to problem solve and create solutions to address critical issues that affect our community," says Pamela Lindeman, CEO of Child Focus.