Family Drug and Alcohol Courts to go Nationwide

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25 February 2015

With over £2.5 million DfE investment funds, the FDAC is being heralded as a ‘problem-solving court’. Of course, anything that safeguards children and sees parents receive the right treatment much quicker than they would ordinarily have done is good. Early indications suggest that the model in London is working, with researchers from Brunel University finding that 35% of mothers going through the FDAC manage to get their addiction to a point of control where they are able to have their children back. This is compared to the average of 19% involved in the usual family court process.

The idea is that the Court works with parents, social workers and substance misuse professionals to help parents manage their addiction whilst keeping the family together. If this isn’t possible, the Court is able to make swift decisions to find children a permanent alternative home. There is a strong emphasis on empathy and understanding though and a real support network there for the parents suffering from addiction with the same people involved in the process. There is even one Judge that oversees each case.

Currently operating in London, Gloucestershire, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, the £2.5 million from the DfE will be used to launch courts in Coventry, Kent and Medway, Plymouth, Torbay and Exeter and West Yorkshire.
It appears as if there’s a real commitment from the government to provide individual therapy quickly, taking away some of the barriers to obtaining treatment right away. Often, the lengthy time it can take for people to access the right care at the right time can be a barrier. The success of course will largely be down to each individual and whether they are truly ready to take the steps to get their addiction under control.

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