Why do families go to family courts?
Sometimes families have problems that they can’t sort out on their own and to help make things better, they may ask a family court to help. A family court is very different to a criminal court, where people go when they might have done something wrong: people go to family courts to help make sure the best possible solution is reached for parents and their children.
The judge in the family court listens to what everyone has to say and it’s their job to make these important decisions for you and your family.
When does Cafcass get involved?
Cafcass becomes involved in a case if parents are separating and they can’t agree on what’s best for their child. Cafcass also works with people who are getting a new family and if people are trying to make sure that a child or young person is kept safe.
Cafcass officers are called Family Court Advisers: they are really friendly and easy to talk to. They may want to speak to you, depending on your situation, but it’s nothing to worry about. You can find out more about Cafcass by clicking on the links below:
Find out how Cafcass helped Michael when he moved to a foster home and what we did to support Ellie when her mum and dad separated.
We have lots of information for children and young people about Cafcass and the family courts:
You might also find this glossary created by the Family Justice Young People's Board useful to help you understand some of the words and phrases which you might hear used in your case.
If your family is changing and you are finding it tough, there are lots of organisations who can help and support you, in addition to Cafcass. Click the link below for a list.