The Judicial Department shall establish family court advocate programs in counties specified in subsection (4) of this section. The programs shall be designed to develop an efficient system for providing integrated, family-focused prevention and intervention services to at-risk families identified by the family courts in those counties, and to coordinate available human services and community resources with the family courts in those counties, both for the purpose of court proceedings and for the purpose of preventing the types of problems that eventually lead to involvement with the judicial system.
The family court advocate programs implemented under this section shall emphasize the following goals:
Protection of children.
Successful completion of family plans designed by the programs.
Improved linkage between the family court and community services.
Improvements in the functioning of each family that is provided services by the programs.
Decreased caseload in the courts of this state in matters relating to families.
Integration of family services.
Identification of and referral to alternatives to court proceedings.
The family court advocate programs shall:
Coordinate services that are available to persons who are parties in proceedings before the family court, or who may become parties in proceedings before the family court.
Assist human services agencies in efforts made by those agencies to collaborate with the family court.
Assist circuit court judges in viewing litigation involving families with a focus on the family instead of viewing the parties as individual litigants.
Intervene with at-risk families who do not receive governmental assistance.
Research, identify and advocate new programs that will improve the use of family courts.
Family court advocate programs shall be established in Jackson County, Deschutes County and such other counties as may be designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. [1997 c.801 §85; 1999 c.1081 §4]