How can I access an FDAC service?

At present there are not FDACs in every area in the UK, so there may not be one in your area.

If there is an FDAC near you, you cannot refer yourself directly. The local authority decides which cases are suitable for being heard in the FDAC court. However, if the local authority is starting care proceedings with your child, and there is an FDAC in your area, you should talk to your solicitor and local authority social worker about the possibility of being referred to FDAC.

Even if there isn’t an FDAC in your area, there are things that you can do if you need help with the sort of difficulties that FDAC helps parents with – especially alcohol and drug misuse, domestic abuse, and parental mental health problems.

So what can you do?

First of all, if you are involved in care proceedings, you should get some legal advice. You can:

Ring the helpline at Family Rights Group on 0808 801 0366. FRG are a charity which specialises in advising families who are in contact with the Care System or Family Courts.

Contact your local Citizens’ Advice.

Contact a solicitor on the Law Society’s Children Panel.

Ask your social worker about good child care solicitors in your area.

If you are based in London and under-25, you can contact Just for Kids Law to request support from an advocate during the Child Protection or court process.

If your child has been removed, or there is a chance this might happen, PAC UK offer free advice and support for birth mothers, fathers and relatives. Their First Family Service has its own Action Line that you can call and leave a message requesting a call back or text on 07975 846 249.