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Life Learning Center to host first incentive-based Kenton County (Family) Recovery Court session

Kenton County Family Court will introduce a Recovery Court Docket into the existing court process. This will be accomplished by offering a voluntary, incentive-based program for individuals with substance use concerns and current involvement with dependency, neglect, and abuse court. Sessions will be held once a month at Life Learning Center, 20 West 18th Street Covington.

One key goal of the program is to shift the approach when considering individuals with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), seeing it as a disease or a public health crisis versus a moral crisis.

By focusing on holistic change, individualized recovery and rehabilitation, the program aims to reduce recidivism, decrease costs to taxpayers, increase public safety and reunify families.

To qualify, participants must complete a level of care assessment, have a treatment recommendation related to substance use concerns, and must have a pending division 2 dependency, neglect, abuse case. Beyond that, participation is voluntary.

The program consists of three phases including recognition and incentives at each stage. The program encourages individuals to stay focused on their sobriety to gain reunification and family attachment. At the completion of the program, participants will have achieved 360 days of sobriety, and secured employment and housing. Thirty days post-graduation, participants will have a final court hearing to ensure they are engaging in relapse prevention through after-care such as Life Learning Center’s Foundations for a Better Life program. Throughout, participants will receive peer support.

The Kenton County Recovery Court program is the product of a collaboration between Life Learning Center, Family Court, and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in an effort to reunify families that have been disrupted due to addiction.

The goals of the program are directly in line with Life Learning Center’s mission to provide “at-risk” people the necessary tools and support to sustain a living-wage career in the wake of overcoming poverty, incarceration and/or addiction.

The Life Learning Center focuses on overcoming barriers in all five domains of life – emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, and relational – through its 12-week Foundations for a Better Life program.

In doing so, program attendees can overcome the barriers that directly hinder an individual’s ability to generate an income for their family, often leading to feelings of hopelessness (and being rendered unemployable). By hosting Recovery Court in the Life Learning Center facility, individuals needing an extra level of care and advocacy can find it within the same walls.

Support Group

Life Learning Center President and CEO Alecia Webb-Edgington knows the value of holistic change, saying: “Life Learning Center has always strived to be a catalyst for individuals in the community looking for transformational, long-term change. Hosting Recovery Court at Life Learning Center helps add another layer of support that individuals need to be successful in reunifying their family.”

One of the founders of the program, Judge Christopher J. Mehling, Kenton Circuit Court Second Division, Family said of the establishment of Recovery Court: “Kenton County has been an epicenter of the substance use disorder crisis. It has torn families apart and endangered children. We want to tackle this crisis head on with the knowledge that this is a disease that needs treatment. Family Recovery Court is centered on treatment and an incentive-based approach to achieving and maintaining sobriety; in re-uniting families or holding them together during this critical time.”

Mehling went on to say: “Substance Use Disorder is a disease. Family Recovery Court acknowledges this and seeks to help those who suffer it to achieve and maintain sobriety through an incentive-based approach. We hope that we can reunite families in Kenton County with this intensive court approach.”

The program kicks off via Zoom on Friday, January 14, at 4 p.m. where Judge James A. Shriver, Judge Christopher Mehling, and Judge Acena J. Beck will discuss “Substance use and the cycle of recidivism,” and “The program to address the problem: A Call To Action”.

Those interested in participating can use these joining details: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87108595732?pwd=bHJ1UThhRm9hMGFZRTNwWktOd0JEdz09. MEETING ID: 871 0859 5732; PASSWORD: 505866

For more information on Recovery Court or Life Learning Center, visit https://www.lifelearningcenter.us/.

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