'Moving Beyond Abuse' program putting families back together in Bullitt County

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Putting families back together after they were ripped apart by drugs and alcohol can be difficult, but a unique program in Bullitt County succeeds at it.

Monday was a proud day for everyone in a Bullitt County courtroom.

Treshia Sparks was there celebrating turning her life around after abusing drugs to the point that her children were taken away.

"I've been able to regain custody of my kids through this program, I've learned a new way of life," she said.

There are six graduates of Bullitt County's Families Moving Beyond Abuse program this session.

"We are the only county in the state that has a federal grant to develop a program for the treatment of parents that have drug and alcohol issues where the problems are so significant they interfere with their ability to parent and could cause them to lose their children," Family Court Judge Elise Spainhour said.

Parents are identified through juvenile court cases and voluntarily sign up for the intensive rehab which lasts 12 to 18 months depending on individual needs. Participants are required to get clean, go to counseling and send out their resumes.

"These people are required to get jobs so it turns them into wage-earning, tax-paying citizens," said Spainhour.

While hundreds of thousands of grant dollars make the program possible, Spainhour says the financial savings for the county is measurable between the cost of foster care and prison.

"The idea is to mend a broken family," Spainhour said.

She says the program does it by rebuilding relationships and showing strength.

Sparks, a mother, has a new found determination to fight off her demons.

"Instead of going and getting high, I can call my sponsor or go to a meeting," Sparks explained. "I have the tools today to learn how to cope with those things."

And many families have found a second chance.

"I don't believe in disposable human beings," Spainhour said. "They're not expendable. Every life is worthy of something."

This is the fifth year the program has been offered through Bullitt County's Family Court system.

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