Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)

The award-winning Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) is run by Coram and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, a leading London-based provider of mental health care and education.

girl hugging a teddy

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court is the first project of its kind in the UK

FDAC 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.

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: that is, a safe and stable family.

FDAC is currently operating across London as well as Gloucestershire, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire. Government funding worth £2.5 million in 2015 is being used to extend the scheme to new areas of the country including Coventry, Kent and Medway, Plymouth, Torbay and Exeter, and West Yorkshire.

Three FDAC professionals describe here in the Journal of Social Work Practice what makes the service different from other models of working. 

To find out more about this service, you can:

Browse this section and read more about what makes FDAC different, how successful it is and the awards it has won.

You can also visit our Resource library to download and read our leaflets and reports about FDAC.

FDAC National Unit 

The FDAC National Unit is an umbrella organisation that supports the work of local FDACs. For a report on an independent evaluation of the unit, read Jo Tunnard's blog Supporting access to family justice: the challenges facing local Family Drug and Alcohol Courts.

The author is part of the FDAC National Unit and the Lancaster University FDAC research team.

FDAC 5 years on

The International Journal of Law recently released it's paper 'Child and Parent Outcomes in the London Family Drug and Alcohol Court Fives Years On: Building on International Evidence.This paper reports on the impact of FDAC in the long term and is based on follow-up of children up to five years after the court case ended. It provides initial insights into the potential contribution of family drug courts to the durability of family reunification and substance misuse cessation. Read the report here


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