Specialist Family Drug and Alcohol Court Team named Psychiatric Team of the Year 2011 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Coram are pleased to announce that the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) Intervention Team has been named Psychiatric Team of the Year 2011 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards.
Drawing on work from the US, the FDAC provides support to families trying to break the cycle of substance addiction. The court uses specialist judges who encourage and motivate parents as they progress through the programme and a specialist team to work intensively with the families.
Nick Crichton, District Judge, said: “Working in FDAC is both exhausting and exhilarating. Seeing parents take advantage of the very specialist help which is offered, and really get to grips with serious drug and alcohol issues is immensely rewarding. Of course some parents struggle. We are seeking better outcomes for children. We are getting more children home than in normal care proceedings and of those children who cannot go home, we are getting them into alternative placements more quickly. I firmly believe that this kind of problem-solving approach offers a better way of addressing these very difficult issues and the preliminary research bears it out.”
The annual Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) Awards mark the highest level of achievement within psychiatry, and are designed to recognise and reward excellent practice in the field of mental health.
Five members of the team were presented with their award by The Baroness Hollins, a cross-bench Peer and a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, on 15 November at a prestigious ceremony held at the Royal Society of Medicine.
Competition for the Psychiatric Team of the Year Award is always extremely tough, and the judging panels were impressed by the quality of this year’s entries. The judges said: “We were impressed by this team’s innovative work in an extremely challenging and potentially risky area of work. The team have translated a model developed in the USA well for use in the UK, and applied appropriate governance and audit. This is a multi-disciplinary team with user and peer mentor input linking well with the judiciary.”
Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, presented the team with their trophy. She said:“The RCPsych Awards bring national recognition to teams that are providing high-quality mental health care for service users and carers. Strong teamwork is absolutely vital, and I congratulate every single member of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court Intervention Team on winning this award.”
The pioneering service shows considerable promise and has been acknowledged, nationally, across a number of areas. Notably so, recently, the service was commended in the Government’s Family Justice Review. The service has also been shortlisted for a further two national awards this year.
A mother who used the service said “FDAC has helped me be the sort of person I want to be. It helped me remain focused and motivated and instilled in me a real sense of achievement and confidence.”
We would also like to congratulate District Judge Nicholas Crichton who, on the 18th October 2011, was a deserved winner of the award for the Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Family Law. The award recognised the excellent work Judge Crichton does in a number of areas, with a particular focus on the work he does within the Family Drug and Alcohol Court.
Notes to the Editor
photo caption: The Family Drug and Alcohol Team with actress and author Maureen Lipman