Adult & Child Addiction Services Expand to Support Indiana’s Criminal Justice System

Adult and Child Health, a central Indiana behavioral health, primary care and social services provider, has expanded community-based addiction services in collaboration with local criminal justice systems. In Marion and Bartholomew Counties, Adult and Child increased capacity to better serve court-involved persons and families impacted by the Indiana opioid crisis.

In Marion County beginning in 2017, Adult and Child joined with the Superior Court Probation Department Opiate Supervision Project Team to help formerly jailed opiate users get clean and restart their lives. As a treatment provider, Adult and Child’s role involves working with probation and courts to “wrap” opiate users with services and breaking the addiction cycle. “Most of the folks we’re seeing don’t belong in prison. They’re ill and need help. We help them get the support they need to succeed in the community,” said Tara Elsner, Adult and Child’s Director of Outpatient and Addiction Services. The positive impact of this collaboration was recognized by Drug Free Marion County who recently awarded Ms. Elsner their Community Service Award.

In Bartholomew County, Adult and Child works within the newly implemented Family Problem-Solving Court aimed at reunifying families torn apart by drug abuse. Magistrate Heather Mollo began this initiative after witnessing her termination of parental rights caseload triple due to effects of the opioid crisis. This specialized accountability court, only the 5th of its kind in Indiana, requires parents convicted of drug crimes to access treatment and achieve sobriety. The court maintains oversight and requires a strong commitment from parents in weekly meetings with Judge Mollo, representatives from the Department of Child Services (DCS), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and Adult & Child. “[Adult & Child was] was our first choice when we were thinking of what was needed for services,” said Judge Mollo. “What we’re satisfied with from A&C is the holistic approach. Things are not so siloed. It’s the wraparound approach that gets our parents to the point of sobriety.”

As a comprehensive, integrated health and social services provider, Adult and Child Health offers a wide range of services to individuals dealing with drug abuse and dependence. In addition to mental health and addictions treatment, programs within the Adult and Child continuum include clinic and community-based primary care, medication assisted therapy, job coaching, supportive housing, and child welfare services.

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