A unit working to prevent children from being taken into care by supporting their substance-misusing parents, is to reopen after a group of private backers agreed funding.

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) National Unit was forced to close in September last year, after Department for Education (DfE) funding was withdrawn. The private backers have pledged more than £280,000 to fund a new national partnership, which has plans not only to support the existing areas, but to extend the FDAC model across the family justice system.

Phil Bowen, director of charity the Centre for Justice Innovation, which will direct the unit, described the outcome as a “milestone” for families across the country. “There is no dispute about the value of the work undertaken by the FDACs since they were first established,” said Bowen. “They get to the root of difficulties faced by parents struggling with substance misuse using a therapeutic, problem-solving approach, giving vulnerable children a better start in life, keeping families together and saving taxpayer money.

“The FDAC National Unit was instrumental in growing the FDAC network from one pilot court in London to 13 such courts across the UK during a decade in which the number of applications to the family courts for care proceedings actually doubled.

“We now have the means to reinvigorate efforts to spread the benefits of the model far wider and to work with others in both national and local government as well as in the judiciary to secure additional funding and support for FDACs to carry out their work well into the future.”

Further information can be found here.

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