FDAC staff go to the House of Lords!

Published: 20th Oct 2023

Find out what happened earlier this week when Birmingham and Solihull FDAC (Family Drug and Alcohol Court) staff went to the House of Lords...

Stuart Lowe (Strategic Lead) and Helen Davies (Team Manager) from the Birmingham and Solihull FDAC (Family Drug and Alcohol Court) had the honour of being invited to the House of Lords, on 18 October 2023, to the 'Supporting Families, Avoiding Care: 15 years of Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs)' event arranged by Centre for Justice Innovation. Helen and Stuart are pictured to the right at the House of Lords. 

This was an opportunity for various FDAC teams, the Judiciary (Judge Burgher, Judge Venables, Judge Perusko plus others) and ministers to meet and have a conversation about the essential work and interventions the FDAC model offers and the outcomes of the research that evidences the need for such services throughout the country.

This was further embedded when hearing from a former FDAC parent with lived experience who is now a peer mentor, now four years abstinent, with her children in her care. The mum was able to eloquently share that if it wasn’t for the FDAC team, Judge, and interventions she wouldn’t have been able to do it. The mum had been through previous care proceedings and had this to compare it to. She described the FDAC option as a 'no brainer'. 

Said Stuart: "Helen and I had the pleasure in connecting with Justice Peter Jackson, Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Bellamy KC, David Johnston MP, Daniel Foster, who was involved in the supporting stable homes initiative, plus other ministers. The Birmingham and Solihull FDAC team are looking forward to inviting some of the ministers to meet the team and have the opportunity to shadow the courts."

FDAC at the House of Lords

Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane giving his closing address, with Stuart Lowe in front of white banner.

Stuart was on the panel with members from Centre for Justice, Judge Venables and Katie Smee from Sussex FDAC for a question and answer session, and was able to share the positive outcomes that have been achieved by the Birmingham and Solihull FDAC since its launch. Stuart was also able to evidence the cost saving that this model has brought to the area compared to those that did not receive such an opportunity.

Added Helen: "We will continue to fly the flag for the Birmingham and Solihull FDAC, and wish to say a massive thank you to the team for their hard work and innovative interventions that enable parents to achieve change for the children."  

The event, which was covered by the Law Society Gazette, also marked the launch of the Centre for Justice publications, ‘Family Drug and Alcohol Courts: the evidence’ and ‘Family Drug and Alcohol Courts Annual Report 2022/23’. You can access the Centre for Justice evidence review here, highlighting that compared to standard care proceedings, FDACs deliver better outcomes, better justice and better value for money.

For the most recent updates about the FDAC journey, the Centre for Justice have just published their FDAC annual report for 2022/23, which you can access here.