New scheme to help families

An innovative approach to justice which can help keep families together was due to be launched in East Sussex earlier this week starting in Hastings.

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court sees parents who are subject to care proceedings offered intensive help to tackle substance abuse.

The scheme, which first launched in London seven years ago, has helped to increase the proportion of parents who are able to continue caring for their children.

It was due to be launched as a one-year trial in East Sussex which will see the court working with East Sussex County Council and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The new court, which was due to sit for the first time at Hastings Family Court on Tuesday (April 7) will also offer help to parents with issues around mental health and domestic violence.

Her Honour Judge Claire Jakens, who initiated the project in East Sussex, said: “The Family Drug and Alcohol Court is supported by the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, and as the designated family judge of the Sussex Family Court, I am delighted to see it established in Sussex. It is a huge achievement for everyone involved.”