National Family Drug and Alcohol Court Development Unit comes to Coram campus after £2.5m funding boost

Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015

The innovative Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC), operated by Coram and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, is to extend nationwide following Government funding worth £2.5 million

FDAC supports families affected by drug and alcohol misuse by working with parents, social workers and substance misuse professionals to combat addiction and, where possible, keep them together/ reunite them with their children.

Parents see the same judge throughout proceedings helping them establish a trusting relationship, and are offered fast access substance misuse services, as well as help with housing issues, domestic violence and financial hardship.

In one study 39% of mothers supported by FDAC were reunited with their children compared to 21% from a comparison group in ordinary proceedings.

Renuka Jeyarajah-Dent, Coram’s Director of Operations has overseen FDAC’s development and welcomed the news:

“We are delighted that, due to this significant investment from the government, greater numbers of families throughout the country will have the opportunity to access FDAC.

FDAC is proven to be a very successful model of using multi-professional skills to their best advantage to problem solve with the courts.

Birth parents feel  involved and understood in a process that actively offers help in order to make sure that action is taken to help them keep their children and,  if this is not possible,  to part with them in the most supportive way

What is integral to the model is that the child’s needs are at the centre of the decision making.”

Currently operating across London as well as Gloucestershire, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, the money will be used to launch Family and Drug Alcohol Courts in new areas of the country including Coventry, Kent and Medway, Plymouth, Torbay and Exeter, and West Yorkshire – extending this vital service to vulnerable families across the country.

Children and Family Minister, Edward Timpson, said:

“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."

The scheme is one of the latest projects that have successfully bid for money through the government’s Innovation Programme.

The Innovation Programme – backed by funding worth £100 million – aims to kick start the most promising proposals for new ways of providing children’s social care.

Useful links

More about FDAC

 

The Government’s Innovation Programme

Brunel University’s FDAC evaluation