It was announced this week that The Department for Education has provided £2.5m to extend The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) for one year.
The FDAC helps families who are affected by alcohol and drug misuse by working with parents, social workers, and substance misuse professionals to keep families together using innovative problem-solving methods. The court seeks to establish a relationship with parents, and tackle dependence, as well as housing issues, domestic violence and financial hardship.
The FDAC currently operates across London, Gloucestershire, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, and will now be extended to cover areas including East Sussex.
District Judge Nick Crichton, who set up the FDAC model, said “we have seen some parents demonstrate a remarkable capacity to change in response to our more constructive, empathetic approach” and hopes that the new courts should be running in 12 to 18 months.
A study by Brunel University found that the court cut the number of children taken into care, with excellent results.
40% of FDAC mothers stopped substance abuse, as opposed to 25% in ordinary care proceedings, and 35% of FDAC mothers were reunited with their children, as opposed to only 19% in ordinary cases.
Furthermore, the court saves thousands of pounds per case, with the process costing £8,740 per family, whilst the cost of taking one child into care is £4,000.
Read an article about how the FDACs work in practice and their benefits.