The Center for Law, Brain & Behavior puts the most accurate and actionable neuroscience in the hands of judges, lawyers, policymakers and journalists—people who shape the standards and practices of our legal system and affect its impact on people’s lives. We work to make the legal system more effective and more just for all those affected by the law.

Families, Substance Use Disorder, and the Courts: Is Compassion Consistent with Accountability?

February 22, 2022, 12:00 PM

See event recording here!

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discussion will be held virtually, as an online webinar. To ensure that you will receive access to the livestream and be kept up to date on any changes to the event, register now. We will send out a link to the livestream of the event to all registrants the day before and day of the event. Last registration is 11:30am on the day of the event.

Event Description

How can family law support parents and their children when a parent has a substance use disorder?

One in eight children live in a home with a parent with a substance use disorder. Most of these children are under the age of five.

This discussion will examine innovations in family law contexts, such as divorce, child custody, and care and dependency cases, that promote safety and recovery while emphasizing compassion and support for parents. Topics of discussion will include family drug court interventions, interventions for mothers with opioid use ​disorder, integrated family medical and behavioral care, and implications for policy.


Introduction: Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center

Hon. Beth A. Crawford (Ret.), First Justice, Franklin County Probate and Family Court, Massachusetts (Former)

Davida Schiff, MD, Director, Perinatal and Family-based SUDs Care at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Stephanie Tabashneck, PsyD, JD, Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience, CLBB and the Petrie-Flom Center

This event is part of the Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience, a collaboration between the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.