Family Drug and Alcohol Court - Information for professionals


The FDAC Intervention Team will carry out a of comprehensive assessments of the family’s strengths and any concerns.

They are:

1 - The initial assessment

The initial assessment is completed within the first 3-4 weeks of proceedings and will identify the timescales for the children, the parents’ goals and the treatment and
support that will be provided in the next 4-8 weeks. This plan will be reviewed in court every 2 weeks and modified and added to at Review Intervention Planning Meetings,
which occur every 4-8 weeks.

2 - Review reports

Every two weeks FDAC will provide a short review report on what is going well and not going well about the Intervention Plan including attendance for treatment and the
results of drug and alcohol testing.

3 - Children‘s Needs meeting

Sometime in the first 8 weeks of the proceedings the FDAC Children’s Needs meeting will be held. The Children’s Needs meeting will include the parents, foster carers, teachers, child’s
social worker, guardian and potentially others to identify the children’s needs. The minutes will be submitted. Where necessary, a child psychological / psychiatric assessment will be considered and sought.

4 - Psychiatric screen

Where the initial FDAC assessment identifies concerns about mental health, parents will have a psychiatric screen. The report will be submitted.

5 - Assessment of relationships

An assessment of the parents’ relationship with their children and capacity to meet their children’s needs will be undertaken once parents have been abstinent for some time
and made some progress with their own problems.

6 - Issues Resolution Hearing

By the third Intervention Planning Meeting (normally the 18th week in proceedings) the FDAC Intervention Team will advise whether parents have made enough progress for their
child to be permanently placed in their care. The Intervention team will report on this assessment no later than the 19th week of proceedings. The court will then hold an
Issues Resolution Hearing (normally by the 24th week of proceedings) to decide when to bring the proceedings to an end. This may require a contested final hearing some time
before the 26th week of proceedings.

7 - Additional hearings

Alternatively, the decision may be to continue the proceedings beyond the 26-week mark, for example, to allow time to check on children who are returned home. For cases that continue beyond the 26-week mark there will be more hearings and review reports and a final report for the final hearing.