UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


UCARE Research Products

Date of this Version

Summer 8-2017

Document Type



UCARE Research Poster, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2017.


Copyright (c) 2017 Leah Engquist, Melanie Fessinger, & Katherine Hazen


Juvenile dependency courts deal with cases that have allegations of child abuse or neglect by a parent or guardian. Lancaster's Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC) is a problem-solving court that deals with cases of child abuse or neglect related to substance abuse. Parents on this track receive monthly team meetings, specialized services, and corrective measures. The research question of this evaluation was: "Do parents on the Family Treatment Drug Court perceive the court process more positively than parents who are not on the track (control)?" 144 parents completed an 11 item survey following their court hearings. Overall, both FTDC and control parents expressed very positive perceptions of the court process on the three items examined: "The process of getting my children back is fair," "the main goal of this process is to get my children returned to me," and "I know what needs to be done to get my children returned to me." However, there was a significant difference in parents who thought the process of getting their children back was fair, with FTDC parents believing this process to be more fair. This evaluation is limited by its reliance of self-report data; parents' responses on the survey may not truly represent how they perceive the court. Additionally, we only gathered data from parents who were willing to fill out the survey. This evaluation is ongoing and data will continue to be collected to further develop the FTDC.