Dallas area families can get help in Judge Rhonda Hunter’s Specialty Court designed to keep families strong, healthy, and together.
Judge Rhonda Hunter is celebrating the anniversary of her appointment to the bench and the first year of the Specialty Court she created to help families in crisis.
An exceptional solution to the unique problems seen in Family Court, the Specialty Court created by Family Court Judge Rhonda Hunter assists children and individuals in child abuse and neglect cases involving Child Protective Services (The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)).
The Court focuses on families that are at high risk for permanent removal of children from their homes and seeks to connect these families with resources in the community that will allow families to reunite and stay together in a healthy and safe way. “I have worked for over 30 years with families involved in the child welfare system and that experience led me to develop this idea which as a judge, I had the ability to implement. I knew there were more innovative ways we could help our families who end up in the justice system,” says Judge Hunter.
The Specialty Court is referred if a case in Judge Hunter’s court involves child abuse or neglect, in particular if the child, parent, guardian, caregiver, or custodian is at high-risk for one of several issues including children with severe educational deficiencies often viewed by institutions as having disruptive behavioral issues.
“Some parents have mental health challenges or physical medical issues that affect their ability to parent,” Judge Hunter says. “The court is designed to assist with frequent monitoring and resource referral in a trauma informed setting to reduce the risk.” Risk factors that the court considers in admission include juvenile delinquency court issues; illiteracy; homelessness; runaway history; substance abuse including alcohol and drug dependency; human trafficking victimization; chronic unemployment and physical health challenges.”
Judge Hunter is a graduate of Skyline High School, the University of Texas in Austin, UNT and SMU Law School and teaches continuing education courses for the Texas Bar CLE including jurisdiction at Marriage Dissolution and Custody issues.
For more information see: www.JudgeRhondaHunter.com
Associate Judge: Jean Lee
Court Coordinator: Michele Morneault