FDAC: the problem-solving court

FDAC is a problem-solving court approach to improving outcomes for children involved in care proceedings. It offers an alternative – and more successful – way of supporting parents to overcome the substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse problems that have put their children at risk of serious harm. It offers parents optimism about recovery and change, combined with a realistic understanding of the immense challenge they face.

The FDAC National Unit

The National Unit is a partnership of five organisations working to extend the FDAC service across England and Wales and to change the way children and families experience care proceedings. This website explains the FDAC model and the work of the National Unit. It will keep you up to date with news from existing and new FDAC sites, the emerging lessons from practice and research, and answers to the common questions people ask us.  


Fdac newspapers, fdac, national unit, fdac model, evidence model, research, problem-solving, research, evaluation


This year Family Law will continue to publish our blogs about FDAC.  The latest one is written by the East Sussex FDAC team. Read it here.

 It covers the purpose of drug and alcohol testing in FDAC work, the testing methods used and their timing, how testing can help bring about positive change for parents and families, the complexities involved, and why and how testing should be viewed as one important feature of FDAC’s iterative assessment and intensive intervention process.

As the team says:

‘Testing is a necessary part of gathering information: it helps provides a fuller understanding of the issues underlying the dependence on alcohol and/or other drugs, as well as of the impact this has on parents’ care of their children.’

To read all the current blogs in our FDAC Family Law series visit our website here.


This New Year we celebrate FDAC’s 10th birthday! FDAC began in London in 2008, as a pilot service, and now there are 10 specialist FDAC teams in the UK, working with trained FDAC judges in 13 courts and serving families in 16 local authorities.

Thank you to everyone involved, for the hard work, commitment and compassion that has made FDAC what it is today. We will continue to nurture the growth of local FDACs so that we can extend FDAC’s problem-solving approach to help more children and families. Our aim is to meet the ambition of Sir James Munby:

‘The FDAC approach is crucially important. The simple reality is that FDAC works. …FDAC is, it must be, a vital component in the new Family Court. …I want to see FDAC rolled out across the country in every DFJ area. …Bear in mind that, properly used, FDAC is not merely the right thing for children and their families; as both experience and research shows, it actually saves money!’ (12th View from the President’s Chamber)

See details of existing FDAC sites here.


We are delighted to announce the opening of two new FDACs.

The new Pan-London FDAC opens this week. This expanded London service works across three London Family Courts: Central, Croydon and West London.  It will cover 9 London local authorities: Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Kingston, Sutton and Wandsworth.

The new Northern Ireland FDAC pilot has an FDAC team based in Armagh and operating out of the Newry court. The pilot will be run in partnership, by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the Newry Family Proceedings Court.

"Family drug and alcohol courts can help break the patterns that blight children’s lives; this innovation should be shared" said @PaulBurstow from @TaviAndPort in an article published last year on @guardian. Have a read here https://t.co/CZ0STmjjgY #ThursdayThoughts #TBT

Interested in working with families to break the destructive cycle of substance misuse and related issues for brighter futures? Come and join the MK&Bucks FDAC team! Primary Mental Health Worker and Keyworker positions available https://t.co/uIClvvOMnJ #jobs #hiring

Welcome Judge Sweeney!
- On Monday, District Judge Sweeney took up the role of lead FDAC Judge for Milton Keynes, joining her Honour Judge Venables (lead Judge for Bucks) and the MK&Bucks FDAC team, we look forward to working with him!

Come and join the FDAC family! Primary Mental Health Worker and Keyworker positions available in MK&Bucks FDAC https://t.co/uIClvvOMnJ Get your application in before it's too late! #jobs #hiring

Interesting graphic highlighting the need for better access to treatment services - all FDAC specialist teams include substance misuse workers supporting families in care proceedings to break the destructive cycle of substance misuse.

Russell Webster@russwebt

The challenges facing the drug & alcohol field summed up in this graphic from today's @DDNMagazine

Load More...