The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) is a therapeutic, problem-solving court approach which offers a better way of conducting care proceedings for parents with drug or alcohol problems which often co-occur with trauma, domestic abuse and mental health illnesses. FDACs provide an evidence-based approach to care proceedings, supporting parents to overcome the substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse problems which lead to their children being at risk of serious harm.
Research has consistently shown that outcomes for both children and parents are far better in FDAC than they are in normal care proceedings. Research also confirms that parents and professionals were overwhelmingly positive about the FDAC model, praising both the skills of the team in motivating and engaging parents and describing FDAC proceedings as much more collaborative and less adversarial than ordinary care proceedings.
The Centre for Justice Innovation believes that every family that could benefit from a Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) should be able to access one. The Centre’s mission is to provide national leadership to strengthen, expand and champion the FDAC approach. In doing so, we are building on the legacy of the former FDAC National Unit, which closed in September 2018.
We provide consultancy, technical advice and support to areas seeking to set up an FDAC, as well as induction training and mentoring. We convene and facilitate strategic connections between the range of different agencies and stakeholders that are essential to the successful set up and operation of FDACs. All FDAC services and practitioners can benefit from being members of our FDAC community of practice, connecting them through networking days and judicial and practitioner forums, and we provide regular practitioner bulletins, which identify, codify and share effective practice across the Family Justice system.
In 2020, the Centre received the Community Interaction Award at the 2020 Family Law Awards, hosted by LexisNexis, in recognition of the work we have done to help spread and support the Family Drug and Alcohol Courts model.
More information about FDACs can be found on the website here.
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