Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, works with children and families who are involved in family court proceedings. Since its formation in 2001 when a number of different organisations combined to form Cafcass, we have been working with approximately 115,000 children every year to ensure the best solution is achieved for all involved.
Cafcass is a non-departmental public body accountable to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). We are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.
We operate within the law set by Parliament and under the rules and directions of the family courts.
Our role is to:
• Safeguard and promote the welfare of children
• Give advice to the family courts
• Make provision for children to be represented
• Provide information, advice and support to children and their families.
Cafcass champions the interests of children involved in family proceedings, advising the family courts on what it considers to be in the best interests of individual children.
We are the largest employer of social workers in England, and our practitioners are some of the most qualified and experienced in the country.
Cafcass’ professionally qualified social work staff, called Family Court Advisers, work exclusively in the family courts. Examples of matters that may be decided by these courts are:
• When children are subject to an application for care or supervision proceedings by social services (public law).
• An adoption application (public law).
• When parents who are separating or divorcing can’t agree on arrangements for their children (private law).