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Title: The family drug & alcohol court (FDAC) evaluation project
Authors: Harwin, J
Ryan, M
Tunnard, J
Alrouh, B
Matias, C
Momenian-Schneider, S
Pokhrel, S
Keywords: Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC);Parental substance misuse;Intervention;Local authorities;Child protection;The prent mentor programme
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Brunel University
Citation: FDAC Research Team: Final Report: 196 pp, May 2011
Abstract: This report presents the findings from the evaluation of the first pilot Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) in Britain. FDAC is a new approach to care proceedings, in cases where parental substance misuse is a key element in the local authority decision to bring proceedings. It is being piloted at the Inner London Family Proceedings Court in Wells Street. Initially the pilot was to run for three years, to the end of December 2010, but is now to continue until March 2012. The work is co-funded by the Department for Education (formerly the Department for Children, Schools and Families), the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Department of Health and the three pilot authorities (Camden, Islington and Westminster). The evaluation was conducted by a research team at Brunel University, with funding from the Nuffield Foundation and the Home Office. FDAC is a specialist court for a problem that is anything but special. Its potential to help break the inter-generational cycle of harm associated with parental substance misuse goes straight to the heart of public policy and professional practice. Parental substance misuse is a formidable social problem and a key factor in around a third of long-term cases in children’s services in some areas. It is a major risk factor for child maltreatment, family separation and offending in adults, and for poor educational performance and substance misuse by children and young people. The parents’ many difficulties create serious problems for their children and place major demands on health, welfare and criminal justice services. For these reasons, parental substance misuse is a cross-cutting government agenda. FDAC is distinctive because it is a court-based family intervention which aims to improve children’s outcomes by addressing the entrenched difficulties of their parents. It has been adapted to English law and practice from a model of family treatment drug courts that is used widely in the USA and is showing promising results with a higher number of cases where parents and children were able to remain together safely, and with swifter alternative placement decisions for children if parents were unable to address their substance misuse successfully. The catalysts for the FDAC pilot were the encouraging evidence from the USA and concerns about the response to parental substance misuse through ordinary care proceedings in England: poor coordination of adult and children’s services; late interventions to protect children; delays in reaching decisions in court; and soaring costs of proceedings, linked to the cost of expert evidence.
ISBN: 978-1-902316-87-1
Appears in Collections:Social Work
Biological Sciences
The Brunel Collection
Dept of Health Sciences Research Papers

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