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The Legacy Family Court provides a voluntary, 18-month recovery and rehabilitation program for low income, drug-addicted parents whose children have been removed from their care as a result of their substance abuse. Intensive and accountability-driven, this program is designed to facilitate recovery from substance abuse and addiction, rehabilitate parents toward sustained healthy living, and reunite children with parents in a safe, healthy environment.


The Legacy Family Court of Dallas County was created to provide a non-adversarial option to achieve the following goals:


  1. to reduce the number of children, including infants, removed by CPS as a result of a drug addicted parent or parents;

  2. to reduce the negative, physical, emotional and developmental effects on children of drug addicted parents;

  3. to support and promote long-term sobriety of participants;

  4. to ease the difficulty for drug addicted parents to comply with and succeed in treatment due to mental health issues, lack of basic skills and/or lack of a support system; and

  5. to increase the number of reunifications between children and drug addicted parents.

Legacy Family Court and its collaborative partners utilize new research and continued program
evaluation to provide a platform for a more effective, collaborative, innovative and holistic service delivery to support both parents and their children.


Participating parents must remain committed to meeting their obligations to themselves, their
children and families, and their community. Participants are frequently and randomly drug tested for compliance.

“Parents in crisis love their children, but the lie of their addiction prevents them from acting in their child’s best interest.  Legacy Family Court works with these parents to alleviate the crisis and place the love for their children back at the forefront of their behavior. And that’s a game-changer – for the parents, their children, and this community.” Judge Callahan

About the Legacy Family Court Program

The Legacy Family Court professional team will provide services to support the participant in their recovery from substance abuse or dependency and to assist in creating a stable life and a safe environment for their children.


What participants can expect:

  • Frequent, random drug/alcohol testing in the initial phases of the program becoming less frequent over time;

  • Weekly court appearances in the initial phases of the program, becoming less frequent over time;

  • Inpatient detox and inpatient residential treatment, if needed.

  • Outpatient treatment and counseling services along with regular attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or other support group meetings;

  • Psychiatric services and medication, if needed;

  • Employment, transportation and other assistance.


It is designed for parents who have a genuine desire to become clean and sober, long term. As such, participants in the Legacy Family Court program must complete substance abuse treatment and maintain sobriety from all forms of alcohol and non-prescribed drugs. Through regular meetings with the court and the Legacy Family Court team members, they will be provided support, services, encouragement and every possible advantage while facing the unique and difficult challenges of learning to live in recovery. For their part, they must be willing to do what is necessary to help themselves and their children. Honesty and willingness are key. 


As the participant moves successfully through the four-phase program, the Legacy Family Court team will remain available to assist with transportation needs, employment challenges, education options, locating a sponsor and support groups, and assuring compliance with our case plan. The Legacy Family Court team will be there throughout, to provide support, encouragement, and to keep the participants accountable to themselves and their children.


Real recovery takes time. The Legacy Family Court program, from admission to graduation, lasts an average of 15 months (not to exceed 18 months). They can anticipate being able to live with their child(ren) much sooner than would be probable in a standard Child Protective Services case.



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