Working with Mandated Clients

Don't Give Treatment a Bad Name: What You Need to Know and Do to Work with Mandated Clients

Keynote or Breakout


Mandated clients from Drug and Problem Solving Courts; Child Protective Services, employers and other referral sources make up a large proportion of many treatment programs. Too many treatment providers focus on compliance with court orders; generic, bland reports about attendance or drug screen test results, instead of reports on real functional change in treatment or not.

Such reporting often leads to skepticism about what is happening in treatment. This presentation highlights how to engage mandated clients into accountable treatment that works for sustainable change. It discusses what obligations treatment has to the mandating referral source; and what they are not obligated to do. It focuses on how to work together with referral sources to reach the outcomes we all want: increased public safety, decreased legal recidivism and crime; increased safety for children and families; and improved productivity and well-being.


Participants will

  1. Discuss how treatment can be viewed suspiciously by referral sources when the focus is on compliance rather than accountable, sustainable change in function.
  2. Identify what is the role of treatment and what is the role of Drug and Problem Solving Courts and other mandating agencies.
  3. Apply ways to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to achieve public safety and health and recovery outcomes.