Putting children and young people first in the family courts


Cafcass at a glance



The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) was formed on 1st April 2001 as part of the Government’s commitment to supporting families and children. 

It brought together the services previously provided by the Family Court Welfare Service, the Guardian ad Litem Services and the Children’s divisions of the Official Solicitor’s Office. 


Cafcass has a statutory responsibility to ensure that children and young people are put first in family proceedings, that their voices are heard, the decisions made about them by courts are in their best interests and that they and their families are supported throughout the process.  We operate within the law set by Parliament and under the rules and directions of the family courts.

Role of Cafcass

Cafcass’ role is to work with Children and Families in the family courts.  The following list provides some examples of the types of cases we work with:

Sponsoring Unit

Cafcass is sponsored by the Ministry of Justice and is a non-departmental public body.

Cafcass National Office:
3rd Floor
21 Bloomsbury Street

Budget: £118.3 million (2015-16)

Employees: Cafcass employs around 1,700 staff nationally.

Geographical Reach:

Cafcass is a national organisation delivering services to children, families and the courts from 42 sites across England.

Service Outputs:
For 2015-16 we worked with 116,104 children and young people across England. Of these, 82,925 were new cases. This comprised 42,393 boys and young men (51%) and 40,362 girls and young women (49%) where the gender and date of birth were known.

Additionally, we support many more children and families through the work we commission from contact centres around the country.


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