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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 six 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 !!!


It’s been a busy month for the National Unit. We’ve been travelling the country visiting new FDAC sites and running our quarterly follow-up training days. They are an opportunity for FDACs to reflect on what’s going well and tackle any sticking points.

We are so impressed with the innovative work, problem-solving approach, and passion and commitment of all the specialist FDAC teams!


Yesterday, Thursday 9 June, the London FDAC Manager, Dr Sheena Webb, joined an expert panel for The Guardian’s live Q&A online discussion How can public services work together on infant mental health?

The NSPCC have launched Looking After Infant Mental Health: Our Case for Change. The report summarises evidence from research and practice, offering ways of rethinking our approach to improving the health and wellbeing of young children in care.


So it’s a good moment to celebrate and thank our incredible FDAC volunteers. An important element of the FDAC model is the parent mentor programme, offering parents support from mentors who have been through FDAC themselves. New FDACs who don’t yet have their own graduates as parent mentors recruit volunteer parents from other local services who have been helped through care proceedings and/or substance misuse recovery.

FDAC parent mentors accompany parents at court and in meetings, act as role models through the huge challenges to be overcome, and help parents stay focused on the rewards ahead for themselves and their children.

One parent wrote:

‘What’s good about it is hearing someone else’s experience and how they came through it. FDAC are all professionals but the mentor is just like me. It helped a lot.’

Read and listen to more about FDAC parent mentors here.