New court opens to deal with family legal cases
A new court has opened in London, designed to try to help parents with drugs and alcohol problems stay together.
The new Family Drug and Alcohol Court is based on a US model and will be presided over by a specialist judge, who will be able to fast track addicted parents onto rigorous treatment programmes.
Family cases - such as child care applications - will be heard at the new court.
Costing more than £1.3 million, it is hoped that the three-year trial of the court will show that the system allows more children to return to their home, because their parents successfully dealt with their addiction.
Justice minister Bridget Prentice explained: "Cases will be brought to court earlier wherever a parent is suspected of substance or alcohol abuse.
"And during the course of the case, the focus will very much be on therapy and recovery and so, therefore, on the longer-term interest of the child.
"I'm really excited about this project and think it will play a big role in fixing some really deep-rooted problems."
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