Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)

FDAC aims to keep families togetherThe 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.

FDAC is an innovative way of dealing with care proceedings when parental substance misuse causes harm to children. It has been recognised in several national awards.

FDAC aims to help parents stabilise or stop using drugs and/or alcohol and, where possible, keep families together. The process involves co-ordinating a range of services so that a family’s needs and strengths are considered, with everyone working towards a safe and stable family for the child. Where parents are unable to control their substance misuse, FDAC tries to ensure swift decisions are made to find children permanent alternative homes.

How FDAC is different

Unlike conventional care proceedings, parents in FDAC:

  • see the same judge throughout the course of the proceedings
  • have regular court reviews without legal representatives
  • receive support from a multi-disciplinary team linked to the court including assessment of parental substance misuse and parenting ability, intervention plans, fast access to substance misuse services and help with housing issues, domestic violence and financial hardship
  • receive drug/alcohol testing via the FDAC team
  • are offered extra support from volunteer parent mentors
  • benefit from a dedicated pool of children’s guardians attached to the court.

FDAC is currently operating in 15 courts covering 23 local authorities.

To find out more about this service, you can:

  • contact our Family Drug and Alcohol Court team by telephone 020 7278 5708 or email  fdacteam@coram.org.uk 

Judge Nicholas Crichton CBE

In December 2018, the founder of FDAC in the UK, Judge Nicholas Crichton CBE, died at the age of 75. Judge Crichton was dedicated to helping provide a better life for people who are most often forgotten about and neglected. In his own words, FDAC was “better for parents, better for children, better for families and ultimately better for our society". He added: FDACs "are not a soft option. We work these people extraordinarily hard. We tell them at the beginning we cannot do it for them - they have to find the strength within them to turn their lives around".

Further information

Browse our resources library to download FDAC reports and reviews 

Visit the FDAC National Unit site

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