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Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)

Project start date: January 2015

We were awarded up to £3.28m to create a national FDAC development unit to support the establishment of 4 new FDACs around the country, testing out the model across different local authorities and family justice board areas. We set up 9 FDACs although originally commissioned to set up 4.

Project Summary


FDAC is a problem-solving court approach aiming to improve outcomes for children and families involved in care proceedings. It offers an alternative way of supporting parents to overcome the substance misuse, mental health and related problems that have put their children at risk of serious harm. It offers parents optimism about recovery and change, combined with a realistic understanding of the immense challenge they face.

We wanted to encourage the growth of FDAC nationally by supporting new sites to set up, establish and maintain FDAC services. We wanted to explore sustainable long-term funding models for existing and future FDACs. With regard to the FDAC National Unit, we had three key areas of work:

To read more about the work of the National Unit and the FDAC approach on working with parents, please visit our website here.

More information on research studies relating to the FDAC model can be found via our partner website here.

For further information please read our independent evaluation of the FDAC National Unit below.

In April 2019, the Centre for Justice Innovation established a new national partnership to support current and new Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) across the country. The Centre is hosting and directing the national team, working in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and RyanTunnard Brown, both of whom have been critical to the development of FDACs over the last decade. The Centre continues to work in partnership with research colleagues at Lancaster University and others within the FDAC communities of practice and information. For more information please visit the CJI website.


Find out more

Project contact details

Dr Mike Shaw

Director FDAC National Unit


Project evaluators

NatCen Social Research

Project partners

Centre for Justice Innovation, Coram, Ryan Tunnard Brown and Lancaster University

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