Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass)
Cafcass stands for the public body, the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service.
Cafcass is an advocacy and mediation service with the sole intention of looking after the best interests of children involved in family proceedings and disputes.
Cafcass have a non-judgemental approach and work with children, teenagers and their families to come to the best decision for the welfare & wellbeing of the child. After listening to the feelings of the family, information is presented to the court by Cafcass to advise on what they would consider to be in the best interests of everyone involved.
Cafcass operates under the laws set by Parliament, is inspected by Ofsted and is the largest employer of social workers in England.
The role of Cafcass is:
- to safeguard children
- to promote the welfare of children and ensure a happy living environment
- to provide advice to the family courts
- to listen to all sides of a family dispute when discussing the welfare of a child or teenager
- to make appropriate provisions for children to be represented
- to provide information, advice and support to children and their families
Cafcass are able to provide guidance on:
- what happens when the courts and official bodies become involved in solving family problems.
- if your family is splitting up
- if a child or teenager will be living apart from the family
- if you are about to join a new family
- if you are going through the adoption process
- if a child has been removed from the main family home
Some examples of when the courts may ask Cafcass to help are when:
- parents or carers are separating or divorcing and have not reached agreement about arrangements for their children
- Social Services have become involved in your family situation
- children may be removed from their parents' care for their safety,
- children could be adopted
Cafcass provide a useful, child friendly website including information on the process, personal stories, contact information and specialist advice for adults, children and teenagers.
The page was last updated on 27 August 2015