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 !!!

Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire FDAC win a prestigious award!

Congratulations to the Milton Keynes County and Family Court on winning an HMCTS regional award. It honours their strong partnership work in developing FDAC  and puts them in line for some National Awards.

The planning and design of the new service was a joint venture led by HMCTS, the judiciary and key stakeholders for Buckinghamshire County Council and Milton Keynes Council. Particular praise is given by the Court to the collaborative work undertaken by the local authority Service Directors, Heads of Service and Legal Services, and Drug and Alcohol Commissioners, as well as to the support from the London and Milton Keynes FDAC Service Managers, Cafcass, and local child care solicitors.

Their courts run every fortnight, one at Aylesbury and one at Milton Keynes. The court team have also been involved in giving up their time to help with many problem-solving events, inspiring others to establish their own FDAC.

The success of the programme has resulted in the two local authorities making a decision to commission a permanent FDAC service. And plans are in place to extend the problem-solving approach to other cases coming before the courts.


Pioneering Video Interactive Guidance (VIG) exchange workshop

As part of the Infant Mental Health Week last month, the London FDAC collaborated with AVIGuk to run an exchange workshop for VIG trainees, practitioners and supervisors. The focus was on VIG interventions with parents and babies in the ‘1001 critical days -from conception to 2’ which is a new aspect of VIG work.

London and Coventry FDAC teams described how they use VIG in FDAC and Early FDAC work to develop parents’ reflective parenting skills and mentalising capacity. The workshop was attended by people at different stages of VIG training, including family support workers, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. The feedback was very positive – a child and adolescent psychiatrist commented:

“Infant work is an emerging field in VIG so people found it really valuable sharing their experiences and learning from each other.”


These are all great achievements by everyone involved!