Government announces roll out of family drug and alcohol courts

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) scheme is to be extended, the government has announced. Currently operating in London, Buckinghamshire and Gloucestershire, the courts will now be launched in more parts of the country, including Torbay, Exeter, Plymouth and Coventry.

Launched in 2008, the courts work with treatment professionals, social workers and parents to try to keep families affected by substance misuse together, making sure that parents see the same judge throughout the proceedings to allow a relationship to be established. The courts can also ‘fast-track’ people into treatment as well as offer help with issues like housing, domestic violence and finances.

‘FDAC is a problem-solving court,’ said district judge Nick Crichton. ‘In the FDAC, we have seen some parents demonstrate a remarkable capacity to change in response to our more constructive, empathetic approach. Harnessing the fairness and authority of the court has shown that it is possible to break the cycle of drug and alcohol misuse. Importantly, FDAC has the support of parents themselves, which is crucial to its success.’