WillisPalmer launches Remote Assessment Service

WillisPalmer have launched a Remote Assessment Service to deliver social work assessments safely during COVID pandemic.

Read more
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Specialist courts make long-term savings

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts save £2.30 for each £1 spent, analysis shows

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts are making financial savings for public sectors, it has emerged.

judges hammer

The Centre for Justice Innovation analysis found that FDAC generated gross savings of £1.29m to public sector bodies over five years. The 2014/15 caseload for the London FDAC cost £560,000 meaning for each £1 spent, £2.30 is saved to the public purse, it added.

“These cashable savings accrue primarily from FDAC’s better outcomes: fewer children permanently removed from their families, fewer families returning to court and less substance misuse. The savings generated by FDAC exceed the cost of the service within two years of the start of the case,” said the Centre for Justice Innovation.

In 2014, an evaluation report by Brunel University concluded that compared to standard proceedings:

  • Children whose cases are heard in FDAC are less likely to be taken into care permanently;
  • Parents in FDAC are more likely to cease their drug use;
  • Children in FDAC are less likely to experience further neglect and abuse.

The UK’s first FDAC was launched in 2008 in London and today supports more than 40 families a year. The Department for Education has supported the rollout of the FDAC model, and now eight FDAC clusters are in operation serving 19 local authorities at 12 courts.

FDACs specialise in hearing cases where local authorities are applying to remove children from their families due to substance misuse. They are run by specially trained, dedicated judges who provide direct, ongoing supervision and support to parents in recovery.

The judges work closely with a team of social workers, psychiatrists, substance misuse workers and other professionals who offer a personalised package of support and treatment that gives parents the chance to overcome their addiction and show that they are capable of caring for their children.

The analysis stated that FDAC keeps more children with their families which saves public money that would otherwise be spent on taking children into care - an average of £17,220 per case.

Families who appear in FDAC are less likely to return to court which saves money on future court costs which are on average £2,110 per case. More parents in FDAC overcome their drug and alcohol addictions creating savings for the NHS due to reduced long-term need to provide drug treatment; and to the criminal justice system due to reduced drug-related crime of £5,300 per case on average.

The analysis warned however that more parents take up substance misuse treatment during the court proceedings which incurs a cost or £2,485 per case on average. As more children remain with their families there is an additional cost of supporting those families which is on average £460 per case.

“Taking all of these factors together, over five years the net financial saving relating to the FDAC in 2014/15 caseload is some £729,000, which equates to £15,850 per case on average,” the report concluded.

The report is available here.

 

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Highest number of children’s homes registered could be in response to COVID

25/11/2020

The highest number of children’s homes were registered by Ofsted between April and August, potentially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ofsted registered 176 new children’s homes between 1 April and 31 August, the highest number recorded in that period. This follows a continued increase in registrations year on year since at least 2015 and a [...]

Read Full Story

Children in mental health hospitals at risk of serious rights violations

25/11/2020

Children’s mental health has worsened over the past three years with many young people’s wellbeing deteriorating during COVID-19, a report has said.

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of children experiencing a significant mental health problem including depression, anxiety and eating disorders with the pandemic exacerbating problems. More than 3,500 children go to [...]

Read Full Story

Education secretary acted unlawfully by failing to consult over care legislation during COVID

24/11/2020

Education secretary Gavin Williamson acted unlawfully by failing to consult with children’s rights organisations ahead of introducing changes to legal protections for children in care, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Gavin Williamson acted lawfully by in failing to consult the Children’s Commissioner for England and other children’s rights organisations before making “substantial and wide-ranging” changes [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us
closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram