Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDAC): The Problem-Solving Court
Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDAC) has released an annual report for 2021/22. The following blog highlights the key findings taken from the report, and here at Family Law in Partnership we continue to support this innovative court in its important work.
FDAC is a problem-solving court process that offers support to parents who are struggling with substance and alcohol abuse, mental health and/or domestic abuse problems and are therefore putting their children at risk. Parents who are struggling with these issues attend the courts every fortnight and meet a judge, and specialists including social workers, psychiatrists, substance abuse counsellors, and domestic violence experts who work together to encourage and support the parents to overcome their addictive behaviour. FDAC reports that ‘261 families entered the programme in 2021/22, with 88% of those completing the process.’
The children whose parents are struggling with alcohol and drug misuse often experience long lasting effects that impact the rest of their lives, such as neglect, emotional, and physical abuse. FDAC focuses on reducing the number of children in care, by supporting parents who are struggling with alcohol and drug misuse, with the overall aim to keep families together, where it is safe to do so. In FDAC’s recent report it states that ‘42% of parents who were misusing substances at the start of FDAC had stopped by the end of proceeding’.
We are delighted that over the last year FDAC was also introduced in Wales, with funding from the Welsh Government. As the FDAC report highlights ‘the expansion of the FDAC approach has meant that more parents have been helped to overcome their substance misuse problems and more children have been reunited with their parents’.
The FDAC process gives parents the opportunity to rekindle the relationship with their children, by giving parents a voice and reassurance that the court and society genuinely wants to help them to be reunited with their children. FDAC reports that ‘40% of children were reunited with one of both parents at the end of the proceedings’.
Here at Family Law in Partnership we recognise the importance of supporting separating families and we remain proud in supporting FDAC through our financial contribution.
If you would like to learn more about the work of the Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, visit their website here.