Fostering Hope is a nonprofit that works to build stronger families through training, mentoring and working with community partners, according to its website.
For Williamson County, Fostering Hope will provide a grant writer and grant application assistance in order to target public and private funding streams not traditionally given to governmental entities, the agreement said. Fostering Hope will work as an independent contractor in this endeavor.
“We think this is a unique opportunity for a nonprofit to come along side and help provide services,” said Scott Matthew, Williamson County director of juvenile services.
Williamson County’s family recovery court was established in June after the county received a $15,000 grant to start the program. The court seeks to improve outcomes for children in the Child Protective Services system who have been removed from their homes.
The court is a collaboration between a presiding judge, the Williamson County Department of Family Protective Services, prosecutors, case managers, treatment providers and others to provide treatment rather than incarceration in order to reduce recidivism and keep families together, officials said. The program takes a collaborative approach for children and parents wanting to obtain long-term recovery from substance abuse disorders so that they can create a healthy household to raise their children when they are returned, the agenda item said.
Presided over by 395th District Court Judge Ryan Larson, this court is an alternative to the traditional processing of CPS case involving substance abuse, according to the document.
Williamson County Commissioners Court agreed to put $20,000 toward the partnership.
Matthew said 75% of the youth with whom Williamson County Juvenile Services comes into contact have been involved in CPS courts.
“I also want to be clear to Williamson County has consistently been tough on crime, but we need to be known as being not only tough on crime: We need to be fair, and we need to be compassionate,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said. “And this is an example of a compassionate justice.”
In other news:
The court proclaimed October as Domestic & Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Last year, Hope Alliance, a nonprofit that assists those affected by family and sexual violence, provided 2,688 hotline calls for help, officials said. The hotline number is 800-460-SAFE.