Stronger Families for a Stronger Georgia

On January 5, 2017, the first Waycross Judicial Circuit Parental Accountability Court (PAC) held its kickoff presentation to the community. Unison Behavioral Health is proud to be one of the community partners serving the PAC program. Ms. Viva Steed, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Unison Program Manager for the Waycross Adult Behavioral Health Clinic have accepted the new role as the Behavioral Health Screener for PAC. Judge Jeffrey H. Kight provides judicial oversight and collaborates and Ms. Heather M. Miller, PAC Coordinator to connect participants to existing community resources.

Ms. Steed is a Nationally Certified Master Addition Counselor (MAC) and is in the role to screen and/or refer the participants to mental health and/or addiction treatment in order to address barriers that keep them for meeting their child support obligations. Unmet treatment for behavioral health issues can be met for this population with the opportunity to provide treatment. Unison Behavioral Health is the leading mental health and addiction provider in this area and is proud and honored to be asked to be one of the community partners.

The PAC program is a joint effort of the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Child Support Services and Superior Court Judges to offer an alternative to incarceration and to help chronic nonpayers of child support make regular payments. The program utilizes community resources to address barriers that keep parents from meeting their child support obligations. Each program, including the services provided to participants, is tailored to the needs of the local community.

With Judge Kight’s judicial oversight along with the collaboration of Ms. Miller PAC coordinator and other community partners such as Ms. Steed with Unison Behavioral Health, the program is off to a good start. In order for participants to graduate from the program their child support obligations must be met for a minimum of six consecutive months.

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