Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
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.

ParentAssess and founder Sarah Lowe nominated for three awards

14/09/2022

ParentAssess founder Sarah Lowe’s outstanding contribution to social work has been recognised as she and the specialist parenting framework she established have been nominated for not one but three awards.

Sarah Lowe, founder ParentAssess

ParentAssess has been nominated for Innovation of the Year in the Family Law Awards and Executive Learning Disability and Autism Award in [...]

Read Full Story

Financial pressure is greatest challenge facing families

05/09/2022

The most common challenge for families is worries about financial pressures and the rise in the cost of living, a Family Review by the children’s commissioner for England has found.

Children's commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza

The Family Review, which is based on research from a Literature Review, a Call for Evidence, commissioned surveys [...]

Read Full Story

School staff need help tackling child mental health as anxiety among students rises

01/09/2022

Teachers are seeing increasing levels of anxiety and a rise in mental health problems among their students but lack the training and time to support young people.

Eighty two per cent of teachers are seeing anxious pupils and the worsening of existing mental health problems, compared to just one year ago, according to a survey [...]

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

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram