Family drug and alcohol courts ‘save money’

children in care

Specialist courts which help families struggling with drugs and alcohol save money for taxpayers, a legal organisation has reported.

The Centre for Justice Innovation is the UK branch of a New York-based legal foundation. In a new report it claims that every £1 invested in Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) results in a £2.30 saving to taxpayers.

FDACs were pioneered in London in 2008 and have since been established in other regions across the country. They are focused on helping parents with dependency problems stay together and avoid losing their children to the care system. Participating families attend regularly and see the same judge on each occasion. They also have access to teams of specialist social workers, psychiatrists and therapists specialising in drug dependency issues.

The Centre estimates that by helping to cut the numbers of children taken into the care system, councils save around £17,000 per problem family. In addition, by helping more to parents to overcome their addictions, an additional saving of around £5,000 per family is achieved the NHS on treatment and by the criminal justice system on prosecution. Finally, families who attend an FDAC are less likely to return to court, generating additional savings for the court system.

District Judge Nicholas Crichton explained:

“FDAC is tough but fair towards all the families it supervises. Parents are given a chance to work hard and overcome their drug and alcohol problems in order to show that they’re ‘good enough parents’ for their children. This is the best possible justice for vulnerable families often living in the hardest circumstances.”

Read more here.

Image by Aaron Davidson via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Name Witheld - May 14, 2016 at 1:11pm

Anything you can send me that can help me stop my children being put up for adoption because I relapsed AFTER they’d been taken an haven’t had any further help from my l.a since I’d be so grateful for I have a resolution hearing Monday 16th may 9.am an am so desperate and really in need of any help I can get… Thanks.

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