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'Our independent evaluation found that FDAC is effective in helping to break the cycle of harm caused by parental substance abuse. This approach helps reduce the number of children taken into care and enables more families to stay together.Article continues below...
The evidence provides compelling support for rolling out FDAC more widely. Thanks to the DfE, there is now a significant opportunity to research the sustainability of FDAC over the longer term. This is a brilliant example of how research, policy and service development are working together to intercept the corrosive cycle of parental substance misuse.'
This new title considers the law and practice in relation to applications made within care...
'We need to be attentive to the impact of the court process on parents as well as children – timely decisions about permanence for children are absolutely vital, but we must at the same time consider the healing potential of the court for parents who can otherwise be locked in a pattern of repeat care proceedings.The work of the national Unit links closely with Karen’s other research projects which include ongoing work funded by the Nuffield Foundation to profile the repeat clients of the family court in England. This work was reported in an invited four-part series last year in Family Law.
The FDAC model is a therapeutic approach that has shown it can deliver very promising results for the whole family (whether children are returned to parents’ care or not) and its wider roll out is a hugely important step forward.'
'I know from my years at the Bar that when it comes to supporting our mostDistrict Judge Nick Crichton whose vision led to the setting up of FDAC in the country,
vulnerable and troubled families, there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach. Families
need tailored and personalised support to help them stay together and thrive.
Since 2008, the Family Drug and Alcohol Court has thrown an invaluable lifeline
to hundreds upon hundreds of families, helping parents shut the door on
destructive behaviour and making sure everyone is working towards the best
possible outcome for the child – a safe and stable family.
Extending the Court’s work further will deliver real, life-changing results for
families across the country and I look forward to seeing how the scheme
develops over the coming months.'
'FDAC is a problem solving court. In the FDAC, we have seen some parentsResolution Chair, Jo Edwards, welcomed the rollout of FDACs, saying:
demonstrate a remarkable capacity to change in response to our more
constructive, empathetic approach.'
'The results of the pilot FDAC speak for themselves – even more so when you hear the human stories. And there are demonstrable savings to the public purse – over the life of a case the cost of FDAC is £8,740 per family. This sounds like a lot, but when you consider that care placements cost £4,000 per child, together with the costs to local authorities of ordinary care cases, it’s a financial no-brainer.Brunel Universities Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) - Evaluation Research Study is available to download here.
But this is about much more than saving money – it’s about working towards a solution that breaks the vicious cycle of addiction, and ultimately reunites children with their parents. You can’t put a price on that.
Of course, we want this to go even further. These courts will only sit once a week and hear a relatively small number of cases. The London FDAC, for example, only hears around 30 cases a year, so clearly there’s a need to do more on this front.
We also note that the funding announced today is only for one year, and we want to see these courts there for the long haul and become an integral part of our family justice system.
But today’s announcement is an important step in the right direction.'