Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you have a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, unless particular exemptions apply. The Act aims to improve openness and transparency of public authorities, and Cafcass is committed to complying with this legislation.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 anyone is entitled to make a request for information to Cafcass (unless the information falls under one of the specific exemptions in the Act):
The Act also provides for an appeal mechanism whereby you may apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether we dealt with a specified request in accordance with the Act. This can be done via firstname.lastname@example.org or Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
More information about the Freedom of Information Act is set out in Cafcass' Freedom of Information Policy.
A request needs to be made in writing to the contact details below, giving your name, address, the information/documents you would like to access and the method of access (e.g. hardcopy, e-mail etc.) via email or post:
Information requested is usually free of charge (i.e. there is no charge by us, although the user would of course have to meet any charges by their Internet service provider, personal printing costs, etc). In some cases if a large volume of information is requested in hard copy we may issue a fees notice for disbursement costs (printing and postage). Cafcass reserves the right not to process applications that cost £450 and more in keeping with central government provisions. This does not impact on the information listed on the Scheme.
Our policy is to be as open as possible and supply the information you have requested, but we may withhold information if we consider an exemption applies. If we refuse to supply all or part of any other information you have asked for we will write to you giving our reasons for refusal. The reasons will be based on the exempted categories under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
For more information please see our Freedom of Information factsheet.