Children, Families, and the Law, Center on


Date of this Version



Poster presented at Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, August 7, 2019.


Copyright 2019 Chelsey Wisehart, Katherine Hazen, & Matthew Carlson


• Parent substance use is the second-leading cause for childrens’ removal from the home in Nebraska (Voices for Children, 2018) with 10-30% being removed again later on (Wulczyn et al., 2007).

• The theory of Therapeutic Jurisprudence suggests using a treatment-oriented approach to reduce recidivism and mitigate the negative psychological effects that the legal system may have on offenders (Fessinger et al., 2018).

• The Judge acts as a team leader for caseworkers and attorneys who use a collaborative approach in the Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC).

• Team meetings between parents and court professionals include discussion about parents’ progress to help ensure a rehabilitative environment. • Social exchange theory says that interpersonal relationships form with the exchange of emotional resources (Rupp & Cropanzano, 2002).

• Preliminary findings suggest that FTDC participants who receive support in high quality relationships may have a faster time to case closure (Fessinger et al., 2018).

• Research question: Do the high quality relationships between adjudicated parents and court professionals explain faster time to case closure in FTDC?