HOW FDAC WORKS 

Cases are referred into FDAC by local authorities. This can happen as part of pre-proceedings activity or when the local authority is issuing care proceedings. There is discussion between the local authority and the specialist team before any referral. The process followed by the team is similar whether the case is in proceedings or not.

Substance misuse specialists and social workers from the team carry out an early and quick assessment of the parents. An intervention plan is agreed at a meeting attended by the parents, social workers and guardian. The parents then begin a ‘trial for change’. The team provide a key worker for the parent who does direct work with the parent and co-ordinates all the services identified in the plan. The team also carry out drug and alcohol testing, and in cases in proceedings they prepare regular short reports on the parents’ progress and they attend court reviews. Intervention Planning review meetings are held at regular intervals, to agree any changes to the plan and decide on future action.

There is regular communication between the team and the judge in relation to cases in court, and between the team and relevant adult and children’s services as well as with housing services and domestic abuse services and with legal representatives.

A key aspect of the model is that it works independently of the local authority. This means independence from the children’s social care team and the local child protection and children in need teams.