ABOUT THE NATIONAL UNIT
FDAC is the Family Drug and Alcohol Court. It offers an alternative form of care proceedings for children put at risk of significant harm by parental substance misuse and other difficulties. What’s different about FDAC is that the court, assisted by a specialist team, uses a problem-solving approach to provide a comprehensive response to the problems that have led to care proceedings.
The FDAC National Unit was established in April 2015. Its aim is to extend the benefits of the FDAC approach to more children and families, by supporting the growth of new FDACs that reflect the intervention model that research has found to be promising.
The National Unit helped to establish FDACs in new local authority areas across the UK, nurtured interest in the model in a range of other potential sites, and established mechanisms for evaluating the progress being made across all FDAC sites in achieving the desired outcomes for children and families.
The National Unit has been committed to supporting the continued delivery and development of the FDAC service. It has provided bespoke expertise to sites via: consultancy and guidance, facilitating shared learning and networking events, sustainability planning, research and evaluation tools, specialist training and skills development.
Unfortunately the National Unit is potentially closing at the end of September 2018. There are currently 10 FDACs working in 15 courts and serving families in 23 local authorities. FDAC sites are not closing. We hope the closure of the FDAC National Unit will not jeopardise the continuing viability of existing FDACs and the important work teams do to support some of the most vulnerable and marginalised parents and children in our society.
The National Unit’s longer-term aim is still to build the case for wider reform of the justice and social care systems. In particular, we want the growth of more FDACs to change the way children and families experience care proceedings.
The work of the National Unit in 2015-16 was funded by the Innovation Programme of the Department for Education (DfE).
From April 2016 the National Unit received further funding from the Department for Education and from the Ministry of Justice to offer continued support to existing FDACs and to continue the national roll out of FDACs.