Family Drug and Alcohol Court’s (FDAC) ‘humane’ approach keeps more families together

photo-credit_-srqpix-via-foter-com-_-cc-byResearch shows lasting change for families

The FDAC National Unit has launched two pieces of important research: ‘The Highlights’ from a 5 year Follow Up study of outcomes of cases included in the original Family Drug and Alcohol Court; and the findings from a ‘Court Observation Study’ of the FDAC problem-solving court approach in the longer-standing and newer FDAC sites.

Effects of problem-solving FDAC courts have been found to produce long term statistically significant outcomes: less relapse, fewer returns to court.

Click here to find the highlight report from 5 year follow-up study. Click here for the full report.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, continues to give a very strong message about the importance of FDAC continuing to be funded and scaled up around the country:

‘There must be no slowing down, no pulling back. FDAC and Pause – both of them, for they are complementary – must be nurtured and supported. The FDAC National Unit plays a vital role as midwife and health visitor to new FDACs as they prepare and then implement their plans. Without the FDAC National Unit the continuing roll‐out of new FDACS is likely to falter. We cannot, we must not allow this to happen. I trust that government, both national and local, will heed the call.

How does this relate to the crisis? The point is very simple. Our objective in everything we do is, of course, the welfare of the child. But the child is not the problem. Insofar as there is a ‘problem’, it lies with the parent. And mothers with problems can have many children, too many of them in due course becoming the subject of care proceedings. As the recently published research by Professor Karen Broadhurst has demonstrated, the statistics are very striking. A mother with problems can generate 5, 10 or even more care cases down the years, as her successive children are taken into care. If we can only solve, as FDAC and Pause so successfully solve, the ‘problem’, then the consequence is a reduction in the number of new cases coming into the system.

FDAC, Pause and similar projects are, at present, the best hope, indeed, in truth, the only hope, we have of bringing the system, the ever increasing numbers of care cases, under control. If anyone knows any better I shall be delighted to hear what it is. But until they do I shall remain, as hitherto, an ardent, committed and enthusiastic supporter of FDAC and Pause’. Sir James Munby, View from the Presidents Chambers

The ministry of justice has announced it will be exploring opportunities for problem-solving courts further with the judiciary as part of a £1bn programme to transform the justice system. Read more: Transforming our Justice System

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