In this week’s stated meeting, worshipful master Victor Matthews gave the lodge a presentation on the Geauga Family Life Intervention Program (FLIP) that he directs in the Geauga County Juvenile Court.
This is a very special program established to reunite families that have been separated due to substance abuse. Recognizing that the family unit is the back bone of our great country, we know that the children react to any dysfunction in the family. When the parent (mom or dad or both) has a substance abuse problem and the children are removed from the home, they are assigned a guardian to look after the children’s best interest. This causes a very serious impact on the children.
FLIP is done on a voluntary basis with mom/dad, to guide and assist the parents through the court process and fast tract them into a recovery treatment program that will allow reunification with the children when it can be done in the best interest of the children.
During the two year period of operation the program has accomplished a reunification rate of over 92.5%. It also has reduced the time to assess the parent from 6 to 9 months down to about 2 weeks, with treatment beginning by the 3rd week. This is notable because prior to the program it was not unheard of for a child to lose a parent to a drug overdose when the assessment took months to complete instead of weeks.
This success accomplished is obtained through compassion, hard work, and prayers on the part of all involved, from the Judge to the clients, the prosecutors, CASA (court appointed special advocate), JFS, and the FLIP volunteers, who are the care givers and advocates for the parents.
This program is in need of volunteers. Anyone who feels they have time and want to volunteer to do something extremely valuable, please contact Victor Matthews at 440-477-2355 or contact Village Lodge. The old adage that it takes a village to raise a child has meaning. Join the “village” and become part of the team.