New Family, Drug and Alcohol Court in Plymouth will improve the life chances for some of city’s most vulnerable children

The introduction of a radical new court in Plymouth will offer better life chances for both children and their families.

Family Drug and Alcohol Court’s (FDAC) work with parents where the council has started court proceedings in order to protect their children from harm or neglect.

The department of education agreed funding worth £2.5 million last month to help support the first year of new Family Drug and Alcohol Courts in eight new sites across the country including Plymouth.

Parental substance misuse is the leading preventable cause of child abuse and neglect and for these children at risk; FDAC offers an evidence-based alternative form of care proceedings which is proven to have better outcomes in the long-term.

FDAC will also help to relieve the mounting economic pressure on children’s services. There are currently 391 children in the care of the City Council and it’s hoped FDAC’s will enable some of these children to return home to their parents more quickly and in some cases avoid them coming into care in the first place.

Councillor Sue McDonald Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Public Health said: “I’m really pleased that Plymouth will now be able to have a Family Drug and Alcohol Court that will help us ensure that more parents stop misusing drugs and alcohol, fewer relapses, more children returning home and that there is no abuse and neglect after they return home.”

“Children and young people only become looked after by the Council if this is the right decision for them, however we know that coming into care can be traumatic so the hope is that enabling FDAC’s to work with parents we can keep children and their families together.”