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.  

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FDAC news !!!



As we embark on our third year of operation, a blog from Research in Practice reviews the work of the NU and the challenges ahead for local FDACs.

Read about the evaluation by NatCen Social Research of how the NU’s early work was perceived by local and national stakeholders. The main findings are about the positive help to new FDACs to get going, stay in business, and use data in a systematic way.

And, as we strive to extend the problem-solving approach to justice to ever more children and families, the blog highlights the tireless energy of local FDAC champions, the value of their having strong support from children’s services directors, and their search for new funding partners in times of continuing austerity.


Is your local youth court keen to test out new ways of working?

The Centre for Justice Innovation, one of the FDAC NU’s partners, has just announced an exciting two-year pilot to trial problem-solving youth courts across England and Wales.

 We are delighted with this plan to extend the FDAC problem-solving approach to courts dealing with young people in trouble. Selected youth courts will be helped to build on the lessons from FDAC and similar courts, testing the benefits of maintaining a relationship with young people who are being prosecuted and motivating them to engage with services to tackle the problems that cause them to offend.

For more information, and how to express interest in joining the pilot (by 21 April), check out Problem-solving courts for young offenders.


And finally, congratulations to members of the FDAC NU and its partner agency Lancaster University for winning a prestigious award – the 2016 BASW Kay McDougal British Journal of Social Work Prize.

The prize is for the journal’s best article, judged in terms of “breadth of scholarship, sophistication of theory, rigour of research, relevance of practice and international appeal”. This is a wonderful accolade for all involved: Karen Broadhurst, Bachar Alrouh, Emily Yeend, Judith Harwin, Mike Shaw, Mark Pilling, Claire Mason, and Sophie Kershaw.

Read the article and pass it on. Connecting Events in Time to Identify a Hidden Population: Birth Mothers and Their Children in Recurrent Care Proceedings in England.