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Rethinking Responses to Behavior: Applying Incentives and Sanctions in the Context of Family Drug Court

  • Does your Family Drug Court have a sophisticated strategy of rewards and consequences to change parents’ behaviors while ensuring the safety and well-being of children?
  • Is every member of your team using science-based methods to motivate behavioral change?
  • Does your team identify target behaviors that promote recovery and reunify children with their families?



Research is clear that FDC programs outperform the traditional child welfare and dependency court systems in terms of protecting vulnerable children and rehabilitating and reuniting dysfunctional families. FDC is among the most effective programs for improving substance abuse treatment initiation and completion in child welfare populations. The sooner parents or guardians entered substance abuse treatment, the less time their children spent in foster care and the more likely they were to be reunified with their families.
~ D.B. Marlowe and S.M. Carey, May 2012

Sixty years of behavior research have gone into making NDCI’s innovative training, Rethinking Responses to Behavior: Applying Incentives and Sanctions in the Context of Family Drug Court. This two-day subject-matter training provides Family Drug Court teams with a sophisticated understanding of the science related to behavior management and change.


  • Teach the principles of behavior change and management
  • Show how to transfer those scientific principles into practice within the family drug court context
  • Create and facilitate an algorithm of rewards and consequences based on the scientific principles of behavioral science
  • Address the critical considerations related to the use and application of incentives and sanctions in the family drug court setting in relation to the safety, well-being and stable placement of children
  • Develop the skills to effectively deliver appropriate and timely court responses to behavior

Who Should Attend?

This workshop is designed for Family Drug Court teams. Because the workshop is highly interactive and focuses on group decision making and consensus, the training experience and ability to apply training concepts to your court is enhanced by the attendance of as many team members as possible. NDCI requires, at a minimum, attendance of the core team members because of their day-to-day interactions with Family Drug Court clients. Without a commitment from all of the core team members below, your team’s acceptance into the program is unlikely,

  • Judge
  • Coordinator
  • Prosecutor
  • Parent Attorney
  • Child Welfare Representative
  • Child Representative/Attorney/CASA
  • Child Development Specialist/Therapist
  • Treatment Provider
  • Adult Mental Health/Trauma Expert
  • Evaluator

Contact Us

Interested? You can request the training Incentives and Sanctions: Rethinking Court Responses to Client Behavior through our “Fee for Service” training. Upon your request, NDCI will work with you to bring any training directly to your jurisdiction for individual or multiple courts. Please contact us to design training and establish a budget suited to your specific needs or click the below link to begin the process by filling out the “Fee for Service” form.


Meghan Wheeler, Senior Consultant
Phone: (419) 884-8139



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