Parental engagement intervention in UK’s Family Drug and Alcohol Courts

The CEI UK team has been commissioned, along with partners Bryson Purdon Social Research, to undertake a study for What Works Children’s Social Care (WWCSC). CEI will be undertaking an implementation analysis and randomised controlled trial to test the intervention’s impact on engagement and on eventual outcomes including children’s placements and parental substance misuse cessation.

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) is one of the approaches emerging from the UK Department for Education’s Innovation Programme. It is a ground-breaking approach to address parental substance misuse, a major contributor to children being taken into care, with parents often involved in repeated care proceedings for subsequent children. The FDAC is a specialist court where a multi-disciplinary team (with expertise across social work, adult and child mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse) work with a specially assigned judge, using a problem-solving, therapeutic approach in care proceedings.

Parental engagement is critical to the success of the FDAC, and the Behavioral Insights Team has been commissioned to develop a light-touch, low-cost intervention to support engagement. CEI looks forward to assessing this intervention's impact.