Both studies recommend that FDAC, an alternative problem-solving approach to care proceedings, should continue to be rolled out more widely and to be sustained.
Research was carried out by a team of researchers at Lancaster University, Brunel University London, and Consultancy RyanTurnadBrown, and was funded by the DfE Children's Social Care Innovation Fund.
Lead investigator Professor Judith Harwin, from Lancaster University, said:
'The study has found encouraging new evidence that FDAC is better able to build on mothers' potential to change in the short- and longer-term. The results indicate that, even after the FDAC intensive treatment ended, significantly more mothers stayed off illegal drugs and alcohol for longer and their families were more likely to stay together without experiencing major disruption. FDAC should continue to be rolled out and sustained to allow further development and the opportunity to establish outcomes of other FDAC courts.'
Justice Minister Phillip Lee MP said:
'I am delighted to see the positive effects these innovative courts can have on keeping families together. This study shows family drug and alcohol courts successfully tackle substance misuse, and produce better outcomes in care proceedings.
This government is committed to creating a justice system that works for everyone.'
Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, said:
'Since its launch, the FDAC has supported vulnerable children and families across the country. Everyone involved in the programme should be thanked for the inspiring work they've done and continue to do. The government's Children's Social Care Innovation Programme has enabled approaches like that FDAC to be tried and tested - all in order to develop and spread new and more effective ways of supporting vulnerable children.'
Co-director of the FDAC National Unit, Sophie Kershaw, said:
'We are so pleased that the new evidence shows that FDAC really works, more families stay clean and more families stay together - we're talking about real, lasting change. Innovative projects like FDAC which deliver outstanding results and save money to the taxpayer are essential, and it's imperative that they continue to receive funding to not only continue their good work, but also potentially expand to help even more people.'
The two reports are available to download below:
For more information visit http://fdac.org.uk