Family Drug and Alcohol Court
The award-winning Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) is run by Coram and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and is the first of its kind in the UK.
Launched in January 2008, FDAC is a new way of dealing with care proceedings when parental substance misuse causes harm to children and care proceedings are underway.
FDAC aims to help parents stabilise or stop using drugs and /or alcohol and, where possible, keep families together. It is based on a model widely used in the USA which is showing promising results. The process involves co-ordinating a range of services so that a family’s needs and strengths are taken into account, with everyone working towards the best possible outcome for the child; a stable and safe family.
It is run at the Inner London Family Proceedings Court and is currently offered to families referred via the commissing local authorities of Camden, Islington, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Southwark.
Three FDAC professionals describe here in the Journal of Social Work Practice what makes the service different from other models of working. The article is also available for download on the right hand side of this page.
The FDAC model aims to improve outcomes for children, in terms of children remaining or returning to their parents' care, or, if parents are unable to control their substance misuse, to ensure swifter decisions to find permanent alternative homes for children. It also aims to increase the court’s confidence in making decisions without the need for reports from a wide range of external experts.
Unlike conventional care proceedings, parents in FDAC:
FDAC has also been recognised for its impact and innovation in numerous national awards: