Published: January 22 2014 | 3:53 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:30 am in

A judge, parental coordinator and participant in the Webster County family treatment court lauded the early successes of the county's four-month-old specialized court before the Senate Judiciary committee. Webster County currently has eight participants in its program including Heather McClaren, a parent participant and mother of five children, who told the committee the program and the support group it provided helped her to get and remain sober. "Actually getting into the program and volunteering was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life," she said.  Judge Kurt Wilke of Fort Dodge said there are 11 similar family treatment courts in Iowa. Six of these courts are federally funded operations whose funding will end in September. During Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady pushed to expand and continue funding for these specialty courts during his Condition of the Judiciary. The Judicial budget request $360,000 for FY 2015 to replace the federal funding set to expire and also expand emerging family treatment courts in the state.

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