The Welsh Government has agreed to consider introducing Family Drug and Alcohol Courts in Wales so to help prevent children ending up in care. This follows the Shadow Minister for Social Care and Young People, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, championing the courts in the Senedd in scrutiny of the Counsel General and Brexit Minister, and the debate on looked after children this week.
Responding to the Shadow Minister, Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, stated that the Welsh Government would look at her proposal of founding courts in Wales.
Having secured the promise from the Deputy Minister, Janet said:
“Since 2003 there has been a 65 per cent increase in the number of looked after children across Wales, and some local authorities have seen even greater hikes, such as 190% in Anglesey, 195% in Torfaen, 250% in Monmouthshire.
“An effort is being made to safely prevent the breakup of families, but the Welsh Government could be doing more.
“In particular I have been successfully championing the foundation of Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDAC), which have a problem-solving approach to improving outcomes for children involved in care proceedings”.
The Member added that:
“The courts have a positive track record.
“A study found that a significantly higher proportion of FDAC than comparison families were reunited or continued to live together at the end of proceedings.
“The Commission on Justice in Wales has advocated for their creation here.
“And the evidence from the London FDAC evaluation is that, over five years, for each £1 spent, £2.30 is saved.
“I believe that it is in the best interest of children, parents, and the public purse for the Welsh Government to pursue the policy I am promoting”.