Assessment & Development

The mission of Assessment and Develoment Services (ADS) is to provide leadership in the production and dissemination of innovative and rigorous evidence and practices that align with the agency mission and strategic plan.  ADS achieves this mission through research, policy analysis, program development, training and consultation to improve processes and practices within the Family Court and throughout Family Court Services. 

Director:  Pamela Behle, PhD


The purpose of this department is to provide accurate data and information to help Family Court Services Administration and the Bench develop policy decisions on an empirical basis; and to conduct and publish original research on topics that advance knowledge in the areas of juvenile justice, family justice, case processing and related topics.  For additional information, contact the manager, Rose Ediger, PhD, at (816) 881-6524.

Program Development

Staff in the Program Development department provide innovative leadership in advising Family Court Services Administration in selecting and guiding implementation of evidence-based programming and services.  For additional information, contact the manager, Mel Bockelman, LCSW, at (816) 881-6512.

Programs and Services Guide

Training Department

Staff in the Training Department provide professional training, education and support to all Family Court Services employees through on-line and instructor-led courses.  Training records and histories for all department staff are managed through iVantage.  For additional information, contact the manager, Barbara Rolfe, at (816) 881-6501.

Family Drug Court

The Family Drug Court Program (established April 1998) provides judicially managed community-based services, close supervision and specialized treatment to parents whose substance abuse places their children at risk of substantially increased intervention by the justice system. 

The primary goal for the Family Drug Court (FDC) is to stop substance abuse by parents which threatens the safety and permanency of their dependent children.  Features of the FDC include a specialized Children’s Division Unit that case manages the majority of the participating clients.  State funding through OSCA assists participants through wrap around services such as partial payments on overdue utility bills, rent deposits, purchase of school uniforms, or initial purchase of psychotropic medications. 

Specific eligibility criteria govern admission to the program.  Services offered to participants include substance abuse treatment, mental health assessment, academic and vocational assessment, transitional living, and other services as needed or required.  FDC is supported financially through COMBAT and Court budget allocations.  For additional information, contact the program manager, Penny Clodfelter, LCSW, LMSW, at 816-435-4757.

Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC)

Missouri DMC Efforts

Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI)