FDACs (Family Drug and Alcohol Courts) deal with families at risk of having their children permanently removed because of drug and alcohol problems. This is a relatively new program that is gradually being rolled out with the support of Local Authority's across the country.
These courts operate with a dedicated Judge, a team of social workers, psychiatrists and substance misuse workers to help parents address their substance misuse, and parenting problems with the view to children remaining in their family.
A recent report from the Centre for Justice Innovation suggests that FDAC saves the taxpayer £2.30 for every £1 spent. This is compared to standard care proceedings meaning that it should be better value for money.
It is also suggested that parents going through FDAC are more likely to overcome their drug and alcohol problems, in turn saving money from other public bodies such as the NHS and criminal justice system.
A lot of practitioners still wonder what the cost will be in the longer term and await information on how FDAC will be rolled out on a larger scale.
The London Family Drug and Alcohol Court’s work in 2014/15 will save the public purse £729,000 over five years primarily because fewer children will enter care, says a new report. The Better Courts report by the Centre for Justice Innovation, a charity seeking to improve the justice system, said the court’s interventions with drug or alcohol using parents would deliver an average saving to public services of £15,850 per family over five years.