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Friday, 22 June 2018

CAFCASS - Your Experience


CAFCASS which stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, and CAFCASS Cymru, represent children in family court cases in England and Wales.  In Scotland, the role of making independent reports about the best interests of the child is performed by Child Welfare Reporters. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000), and under the rules and directions of the family courts, CAFCASS are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies. Their duty is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children going through the family justice system. CAFCASS’s Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what they consider to be the best interests of the children involved in three main areas:
·        Divorce and separation, sometimes called ‘private law’, where parents or carers can’t agree on arrangements for their children
·        Care proceedings, sometimes called ‘public law’, where social services have serious concerns about the safety and welfare of children
·        Adoption, which can either be public or private law

The Covenant Team and the Service family federations are working with CAFCASS to increase mutual awareness and understanding. We would be grateful for feedback from Service personnel on their experience if CAFCASS have been involved in proceedings relating to their children during or following the breakdown of a relationship. Please email the Covenant mailbox - COVENANT-MAILBOX@mod.gov.uk – and include CAFCASS in the email subject. Please note that a simple summary of the overall experience from the Service person’s perspective is sought: there is no requirement to provide any details relating to private and sensitive matters, nor should children be named in the email.

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