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 !!!


Read our third Family Law blog about FDAC here: ‘FDAC – a trauma informed service’ http://www.familylaw.co.uk/news_and_comment/fdac-a-trauma-informed-service#.WKwMCW-LSUk

Co-written by Dr Sheena Webb, London FDAC team manager and Tom Borro, Social Worker in the Coventry FDAC team, the blog focuses on FDACs alternative approach and describes how FDAC is a trauma informed service. Most parents, if not all, who come into FDAC are affected by trauma.

The blog explains the importance of FDACs transparent and compassionate approach to trauma. Read how Coventry FDAC has set up a Seeking Safety group to address common impacts of trauma and educate parents about their trauma and related substance misuse. FDAC believes in empowering parents to make good choices by helping them understand their past!



We were delighted to hear the support for FDAC in Elizabeth Truss’s recent speech!

The speech, on 13th February, at the Centre for Social Justice, on criminal justice reform included a section supporting FDAC after a recent surprise visit to the FDAC court in Maidstone.

Elizabeth Truss champions FDACs problem solving approach and focuses particularly on the role FDACs play in tackling the problems that so often contribute to parents committing offences. FDACs trauma informed service helps parents address issues in order to set their lives on different trajectories; the ability to make safer choices plays an important part in reducing criminal behaviour in the future.

We’ve included the quote from the speech below and you can read the full speech here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/a-speech-on-criminal-justice-reform-by-the-secretary-of-state-for-justice

“Family drugs and alcohol courts, like the one I visited in Maidstone, will play a vital role in this. I believe that judges are as important in reforming people as any prison or probation officer.

Working with local authorities, judges closely oversee compliance with treatment programmes. I’ve watched it in action – I know that it works. Over 26 weeks, those taking part have to comply with drug testing and therapy sessions to stay clean.

This sort of consistent supervision and support, overseen by one judge over a long time period, is helping women beat the addictions that can fuel crime, and making it more likely that they will be able to regain custody of their children.

Let me provide one example among many. One woman, I’ll give her the name Jenny, has transformed from a drug dependent 25-year-old with a five-year-old daughter to a woman determined to do right by her child.

Without this intervention Jenny would have continued to steal to feed her habit. Jenny now has a chance at a better life. Her daughter does too.

There are people who would dismiss this as soft justice. I would call it decency and common sense because without this court ordered intervention, Jenny’s path was almost certainly leading to prison.”