To ask Her Majesty's Government how much it costs to fund the Family Drug and Alcohol Court National Unit for a year; and what is their estimate of the financial savings to local authorities from a Family Drug and Alcohol Court.
Data relating to the number of families who have graduated successfully from a Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) or the number of children retained by their parents following their parents’ graduation from an FDAC is collected and retained by local authorities who are responsible for setting up, managing and supporting local FDACs around the country. This is part of their child protection and care proceedings work. The government does not collect such data.
Similarly, it is for local authorities to consider what savings may be made from setting up an FDAC in the context of their overall spending plans. Equally, it is for local authorities to monitor this as they make future decisions about spending. The savings that local authorities may make would vary depending on a number of factors and local circumstances. Local FDAC services, and other innovative models similar to FDAC, will continue to be funded by those local areas who choose to establish or commission these services locally.
In the period 2015 to 2016, the government provided funding to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust to establish the FDAC National Unit. Funding for the FDAC National Unit was originally provided on the basis that it would expand the FDAC model to new areas and to help the National Unit to be self-sustaining. Unfortunately, this has proved challenging, despite considerable effort and investment by both the government and the NHS trust.
We have extended funding for the FDAC National Unit four times since the period 2015 to 2016. The level of funding has varied from year to year, depending on the specific elements of work being commissioned. Most recently, we committed to providing funding to the trust for the period to the end of September 2018 to support its application to the government’s Life Chances Fund (LCF). The trust’s application to the LCF had two aims. The first aim was to develop a social impact bond model of funding for local FDACs. The second aim was to develop a sustainable way to fund the FDAC National Unit. Unfortunately, the trust recently decided to withdraw their application to the LCF. We understand that this means that the trust is considering the future of the FDAC National Unit, including its potential closure. Officials are working with the trust to ensure that the impact of the FDAC National Unit’s potential closure on local sites is minimised and that any resources developed by the FDAC National Unit remain accessible to the trust and others interested in the FDAC model in the future.
The government is committed to finding effective approaches to spreading innovative evidence-based models of practice to local areas.