BETTER OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Latest Research – December 2016
As part of the funding awarded to the FDAC National Unit form the DfE Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme 2015-16, the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research, Lancaster University and RyanTunnardBrown carried out a continuation study of outcomes of cases included in the original Family Drug and Alcohol Court study. It provides information on child and maternal outcomes at the end of the care proceedings using a larger number of FDAC cases than before. It also has a longer follow-up period, reporting on outcomes up to five years after the end of proceedings. The study found:
- A significantly higher proportion of FDAC than comparison mothers had ceased to misuse by the end of proceedings (46% v 30%);
- A significantly higher proportion of FDAC than comparison families were reunited or continued to live together at the end of proceedings (37% v 25%);
- A significantly higher proportion of FDAC than comparison reunification mothers (58% v 24%) were estimated to sustain cessation over the five-year follow up;
- A significantly higher proportion of FDAC than comparison mothers who had been reunited with their children at the end of proceedings were estimated to experience no disruption to family stability at 3 year follow up (51% v 22%).
Harwin J, Alrouh B, Ryan M, McQuarrie T, Golding L, Broadhurst K, Tunnard J and Swift S (December 2016) After FDAC: outcomes 5 years later. Final Report. Lancaster University. http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/cfj-fdac/publications/
The original 2014 independent evaluation of the pilot FDAC in London was conducted by a team based at Brunel University, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The evaluation followed all cases that entered FDAC between 2008 (when the court first opened) and 2010. It compared these cases with a matched sample of cases being dealt with in care proceedings in the same court.The study found that FDAC helped more parents stop misusing substances and deal with other problems and harnessed their motivation to change, both of which helped achieve higher rates of unification in FDAC cases.
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- 40% of FDAC mothers were no longer misusing drugs and alcohol, compared to 25% of the mothers in normal care proceedings.
- 25% of FDAC fathers were no longer misusing drugs and alcohol, compared to 5% of the fathers in normal care proceedings.
- This was so for 35% of FDAC mothers, compared to 19% of the mothers in normal care proceedings.
- A year or more after proceedings had finished, there was further neglect or abuse of children in 25% of FDAC families, compared with 56% of families in normal care proceedings.