ODCP Bimonthly Newsletter September 2020- Interview with the First Family Treatment Court Graduates


Sabrina Ward and her partner Matt Blackshire are the first graduates of the Boone County Family Treatment Court.The Q&A below describes their experiences with the program. 

Q: When did you both begin using?

A: Heavily in 2015. 


Q: How did you meet?

A: We met on Facebook.


Q: Do you have children? How old are they now?

A: Yes, we have our beautiful daughter who is 19 months old.


Q: What were the events that led to your participation in Family Treatment Court (FTC)?

A: CPS took custody of our daughter due to substance abuse and domestic violence.

Q: What was your initial reaction when you heard you would be sentenced to FTC?

A: Well, you aren’t sentenced to FTC. FTC is completely volunteer, but when they told us about it, we did not care what it was if it got us our daughter back. Then after we began to see what it was, we were happy we were given the chance to be in FTC; it was giving us hope again for our future.


Q: How was your experience in FTC?

A: Well, initially we had a lot to do. We had 3 drug screens a week, court every week, and we had to be in substance abuse classes like relapse prevention, things like that, multiple times a week. We got to see a therapist, and we had to contact the FTC coordinator every day to check in. We also had a curfew of 7:00 p.m. These things were giving us treatment and adding structure back into our lives.


It wasn’t easy at first but with the support of Judge Thompson, the FTC Coordinator, Kelly Gadd, and our FTC family we made it, and we began to learn to like and want a better life.


Q: Had you been to other treatments before, and if so, how did this compare?

A: No, we had never been prior to FTC.


Q: What was the best outcome from participating in FTC?

A: The outcome that all addicts want…we are clean and sober today, and we have our beautiful little girl back. We are productive members of society. We both have jobs and have paid off our fines and things to get our licenses back and we bought our first legal car. These things weren’t possible before.


Q: If you have children, are they with you? How do you think FTC has helped you with your relationship with your kids?

A: Yes, our daughter is home now. She was in foster care for 6 months. She is only 19 months, but FTC made me realize I wasn’t the good mother I thought I was before she was removed. I didn’t want to do things like get down in the floor and play with her. I wasn’t there emotionally, but we are now. Today she keeps us on our toes, and we are present for the whole thing. We take her camping and fishing, things we wouldn’t have done before FTC.


Q: What is your life like today?

A: Our life is great today. We have 10 months clean and sober. We have our daughter back. We have jobs and can pay our own bills and buy things we weren’t able to before. We have found a new way to live and it is wonderful. I would encourage anyone struggling with addiction to reach out for help. Recovery is possible, and it is amazing!!

Contact Information

Rachel Thaxton- Rachel.M.Thaxton@wv.gov