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Gloucestershire Family Drug and Alcohol Court – 20 months on (£)

Date:7 JAN 2015
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District Judge Julie Exton, Bristol Civil and Family Court and President of the Association of Her Majesty’s District Judges

Nick Crichton is an impossible act to follow but in March 2013 I was lucky enough to be the judge put in charge of the first Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) outside London, in Gloucestershire. The model here is different. It is one local authority as opposed to the five London boroughs that Nick Crichton’s court covers and is called the ‘Turn Around for Children Service’ (TACS). It focuses on children under 5, but will also take on families where some of the children are older. It was also set up in collaboration with Gloucestershire NHS Trust and, so, not only does it have dedicated social workers and specialist substance misuse nurses, but there is also access to health visitors, mental health nurses, speech and language therapists, a substance misuse consultant psychiatrist and a psychologist.
The full version of this article appears in the January 2015 issue of Family Law.

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