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Strengthening prospects for safe and lasting family reunification: can a Family Drug and Alcohol Court make a contribution?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
Issue number4
Volume35
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)459-474
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/11/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This article examines the contribution of the first Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) within care proceedings in England and Wales. It asks what FDAC can contribute to family reunification amid concerns about the safety and sustainability of return home and significant changes in care proceedings under the Children and Families Bill of 2013. Features of FDAC as a problem-solving court are outlined and findings of an independent evaluation are presented to consider FDAC’s contribution to safe return home at the end of the care proceedings. The likely impact of the Children and Families Bill of 2013 on FDAC’s reunification objectives and the rationale for an FDAC aftercare service are discussed. The article concludes that FDAC has the potential to play a useful role in promoting safe reunification at the end of care proceedings. The Children and Families Bill of 2013 creates both opportunities and challenges to the FDAC model in respect of its approach to enhance safe reunification prospects, and adaptations will be necessary. There is a strong case to develop an FDAC aftercare service to help promote lasting reunification and safe and committed parenting.