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.

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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 !!!



Today the FDAC National Unit launched two pieces of important research: ‘The Highlights’ from a 5 year Follow Up study of outcomes of cases included in the original Family Drug and Alcohol Court; and the findings from a ‘Court Observation Study’ of the FDAC problem-solving court approach in the longer-standing and newer FDAC sites.

The findings are very positive and demonstrate the meaningful impact that FDAC makes not only during proceedings but how parents use what they learnt from FDAC to maintain their abstinence and continue to look after their children more successfully in the following five years.

Click here to find a summary of the 5 year Follow Up study and the highlight report. Click here for more information on the Court Observation Study and the full report.

The research findings were featured this morning (22.09.16) on the Radio 4 TODAY programme which you can listen to here (from 2:36:30 to 2:44:40). You can also watch (from 38:50 to 52:30) Judge Nicholas Crichton CBE, founder of FDAC and a former FDAC parent speak on the Victoria Derbyshire show.

The Law Society Gazette has also published a piece about the research findings and the implications for the wider role out of problem solving practice. You can read the article here.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, who spoke at the research launch today, has been a committed advocate of FDAC throughout his presidency. He gave a very strong message about the importance of FDAC continuing to be funded and scaled up around the country:

“The message is clear. FDAC should continue to be rolled out more widely and be sustained.

My stance is simple: The crisis in our family justice system requires us to be innovative. I have long been a committed and enthusiastic supporter of FDAC. The new research only goes to show how vital this service is. FDAC works. I hope this research will convince any doubters that this problem solving approach should continue to be supported, funded and, indeed, scaled up.”

You can read his full speech here.