The Milton Keynes Family Drug and Alcohol Court opened in July 2014 and was the first of its kind outside London. It has been judged so successful, that the Government has announced funding for a further eight similar courts across the nation. The Milton Keynes Family Drug and Alcohol Court is held at Aylesbury Magistrates Court and Milton Keynes County Court alternatively each Tuesday.
The Milton Keynes Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) works with parents, social workers and substance misuse professionals to combat addictions in families and, where possible, keep them together. Where this isn’t possible, the court aims to make swift decisions in order to find children a permanent, loving, stable home with minimal disruption.
The Milton Keynes family court also ensures parents see the same judge throughout the course of the proceedings, establishing a relationship built on trust, and offers fast-access substance misuse services as well as help with housing issues, domestic violence and financial hardship.
District Judge Nick Crichton said
“FDAC is a problem-solving court. In the FDAC, we have seen some parents demonstrate a remarkable capacity to change in response to our more constructive, empathetic approach. Harnessing the fairness and authority of the court has shown that it is possible to break the cycle of drug and alcohol misuse. Importantly, FDAC has the support of parents themselves, which is crucial to its success. Thanks to the DfE and government’s investment, more parents and their children will be able to access FDAC across the country.”
Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said:
“I consider FDAC as one of the most important and innovative developments in public family law in decades.
“I am a strong supporter and believe that its combination of therapy, offered by the multi-disciplinary team, and adjudication and direction using the authority of the court is the right approach for parents suffering from addiction.”
He added: “The process delivers better outcomes for the children and the parents subject to it and achieves this in a manner which respects the humanity of the parents.”
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