The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) – The Pilot Scheme in Kent


The FDAC pilot scheme in Kent commenced on 7th February. It is due to run until March 2017 (the London pilot began in 2008 and is still going, so it is likely that the Kent scheme will continue after this date, particularly as Kent is part of a national ‘roll out’).

Where will the Family Drug and Alcohol Court sit?

Originally, it was intended that the FDA court would sit in one of the magistrates’ courts at Anchorage House in Chatham. However, for reasons of space, it has been decided that the FDA court will sit at the Maidstone Combined Courts Centre.

Where in Kent will FDAC cases be selected from?

Initially, the FDAC scheme will operate in the following local authority areas:






Hence, parents eligible for the scheme will be selected from within these areas. These areas have been chosen because they are the closest to where the FDA court will be sitting.

Which Judges will sit on FDAC cases?

At this stage, 3 District Judges have been allocated:

-District Judge Michael Batey

-District Judge Gill

-District Judge Sullivan

How are cases chosen for inclusion on the scheme and how many cases can be chosen?

The scheme is being funded by Kent and Medway Councils and the Department of Education, with support being provided by the FDAC National Unit & Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Social services will be selecting families from within the catchment areas listed above.  Cases selected may already be in the court arena, others are likely to be picked up at pre-proceedings. Early FDAC is being promoted in Kent, a new assessment and treatment service for pregnant women and their partners, where appropriate, who have had one or more children previously removed from their care through court proceedings.

During the first year, there will be 35 cases: 28 from Kent and 7 from Medway.

Although the scheme focuses on drug and alcohol issues, the Kent pilot will also include cases involving domestic violence, if appropriate.

Who will be on the FDAC Team?

The FDAC team comprises social workers and other specialists who will be working with the families and reporting to the court.

The team members are:

Donna Harris              ServiceManager  (

Donna Selling             Senior Social Work  Practitioner

Dr. Nick Isaacs            Consultant Child and Adult Psychiatrist

Anna Turco                 Clinical nurse specialist

Sessional adult psychiatrist

Substance Misuse Practitioner – soon to be appointed.

The team will also be supported by Lynn Magson and Jessica Steadman-Gay from CAFCASS and by local Domestic Abuse and Substance Misuse Agencies. The team is in its early stages but eventually may include further team members, with specific specialisms, as seen in the London FDAC Team.

Kevin Jackson

Becket Chambers


Donna Harris

Service Manager