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Exciting News from Montgomery County, Ohio: Expansion into Family Substance Abuse Treatment
by MICHELLE WHITE

The LIFE Program (Learning Independence and Family Empowerment) began in 2005 through the partnerships of Montgomery County Juvenile Court, South Community, The Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Montgomery County, Samaritan Behavioral Health and Reclaiming Futures. The program utilizes Functional Family Therapy, which is an empirically grounded, evidenced based practice model. It has shown high success with violence prevention with youth.

Through the hard work, dedication and continued collaboration of The LIFE Program partners, we have now provided home based family services to over 1,200 youth and families in our community and have reported very successful outcomes!

One of the gaps of service in our community continues to be effective family substance abuse treatment. The FFT-CM Model focuses on engaging ALL key family members to participate in treatment and then motivating them to change. Family behavior change activities are organized to serve as a powerful mechanism for reinforcing alternative healthy behaviors that can replace substance using behaviors in ALL family members.

FFT-CM has been implemented in New York, Wisconsin and The Netherlands. Montgomery County will be the FIRST site in the state of Ohio and will be on the cutting edge of research in family focused substance abuse intervention!


Michelle L. White is the Project Director for Reclaiming Futures, Montgomery County, Ohio. Michelle has worked in the justice arena her entire career. She began her career with Montgomery County Juvenile Court ten years ago as a Probation Officer. Throughout her tenure with the Court, Michelle has served as a Gender Specific Probation Officer and as the Intensive Probation Supervisor. Michelle is very passionate about working with families, volunteers and the community. She has been involved with the Reclaiming Futures movement in Dayton throughout her time with the Court. She can be reached at mwhite@mcjcohio.org.