The news last week that specialist drug and alcohol courts are to be extended to more areas - including Exeter and West Yorkshire - has been welcomed.
The specialist court is widely recognised for its constructive approach and has had broad success so far. This is demonstrated by a survey (conducted by a research team at Brunel University and funded by the Nuffield Foundation and the Home Office) which found that of 90 families who went through the specialist court, 40% of mothers and 25% of fathers stopped substance misuse compared with 25% of mothers and 5% of fathers who went through ordinary care proceedings.
These statistics are a testament to the work the specialist courts undertake on a daily basis.
Pioneering US-style family drug and alcohol courts are to be doubled in number across England in move that will help hundreds of families prevent their children being removed into care. Ministers have agreed an extra £2.5 million funding for the specialist courts which have had huge success in helping families with addictions through a ground-breaking judge-led approach. Judges deal directly with parents rather than through lawyers; meet them one-to-one; monitor their treatment and see them regularly over the course of a year.