The Children and Family Court Advisory Service (Cafcass) was set up in 2001 to be the voice of the child in cases that go to court and look after their interests.
On the one hand I have the conclusions of the Guardian’s much respected Louise Tickle, who is a journalist who specialises in family law reporting. On the other, here is the press release from Cafcass itself, responding to the Ministry of Justice’s report Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children’s Cases.
Where does the truth lie? You be the jury.
Admittedly the MoJ’s title could have been snappier, and possibly a little more succinct, it runs to 214 pages.
For my part I have a lot of sympathy for the view that an agency set up to represent the welfare of the child in court must never ‘knowing-what’s-best’ for the child then fail to protect it from an abusive parent, just because the mantra that ‘children-need-both-parents’ must be observed.
Sadly, and not for the first time, a lack of government funding is probably at root a primary cause of the lack of training and experience highlighted in the MoJ’s conclusions into Cafcass.
Cafcass is an important and useful agency. We will revisit how it assists in the majority of cases – which do go according to intended practice – in a future article.
If you are affected by similar issues or would like to have a related discussion in confidence, please call me on 020 7091 2869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above is accurate as at 03 August 2020. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case by case basis.