Here at Researching Reform, we are big fans of organisations and working groups that think outside the box and provide meaningful solutions inside the family justice system, and The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) certainly falls into the category of innovative initiative. The only trouble is, despite scooping all the awards it is eligible for (that’s six awards out of a possible six it is entitled to, in various awards brackets), the government looks set to shut the Court down.
The first thought that came to our mind, as we’re sure it did yours, was, which idiot made the decision to stop funding this fabulous endeavour? When very little seems to be making a difference inside the system, and with the knowledge that more economic mayhem will come at a heavy price later if we don’t invest a little in things which are worthwhile, why on Earth would anyone consider closing a scheme that not only works, but is an effective model for courts nationwide? If you’re furiously nibbling on your digestive now, fear not, we are doing the same.
So why is FDAC the jewel in the family courts’ crown? The Family Drug and Alcohol Court helps keep families together. It is progressive, economical, sophisticated and compact. It leads the way in cohesive multi-disciplinary teamwork, which is sorely lacking inside the system and one of its biggest bug-bears and it is a no-nonsense, common sense approach to substance abuse within families. Oh, and did we mention, it works.
The most recent award the team collected was a Working in Partnership Award. We are told this award “recognises an outstanding project developed in partnership between separate organisations that has improved patient care“. FDAC were cited as an example of excellence in the Home Office’s Drug Strategy (2010), and has saved the public purse around £40,000 a year for each family that recovered.
So, what’s not to love (apart from the bozo who thinks this scheme should be done away with)? And why is the government turning its back on the future?