28th Mar 2022

FLiP Continues to Support the Drug & Alcohol Courts

FLiP Continues to Support the Family Drug & Alcohol Courts

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDAC) offer an alternative way of supporting parents who are struggling with substance and alcohol abuse, mental health and/or domestic abuse problems and are therefore putting their children at risk. FDAC work together with vulnerable parents by strengthening their motivation to overcome their problems and ensuring that they are treated fairly in the court process.

In 2008, London FDAC, which was the first in the country, trialled a three-year pilot, funded by central government. Fifteen years on, FDAC are operating Nationwide, and continue to grow as local authorities have demonstrated interest in the model.

Lancaster University evaluated the outcome of proceedings taking place in FDAC and noticed a significantly better outcome than in normal proceedings. Furthermore, more parents are said to have overcome their problems by the end of the court proceedings.

FDAC reported that more children remained with or were returned to their parents at the end of the proceedings, with 35% of FDAC mothers who stopped misusing, compared to 19% in non-FDAC proceedings. This meant they were able to reunite with their children. Families were followed up a year or more after the proceedings ended, where cases of further neglect or abuse of children occurred in 25% of FDAC families, compared with 56% of non-FDAC families.

Here at Family Law in Partnership, we continue to support this worthwhile initiative. We understand the importance of reuniting families, where it is safe to do so. It is great to see the success of FDAC and how they can touch the lives of families needing support across the country.