We have produced three videos to help children, young people, and grown-ups have a better understanding of who Cafcass are and the kind of work the court might ask us to do after an application has been made to the family court.
These videos explain the types of work we might be asked to do by the court after someone has made an application for a child arrangements order in respect of who a child will see or where a child will live. These types of cases are often referred to as 'private law' cases.
While we've tried to include information that is relevant to most of the work we do in private law cases it is really important to note that every case is different. Sometimes, like when an application has been made at short notice, or where there are safety concerns, we might not do everything that is set out the video 'I've received a letter from Cafcass - now what?'.
It's also really important to understand that Cafcass can only carry out work at the request of the court. In many cases our involvement ends at the first hearing and we won't go on to do further work. When the court has asked us to do further work this may involve the types of work you will see in the video 'Working with you and your family' but what we do in each case is determined by the individual Family Court Adviser (FCA), based on his or her assessment of what they need carry out in order to provide the court with the information it has requested Cafcass to provide. Our FCAs are very skilled and will only carry out the work they need to inform their assessment. If you have concerns around the extent of enquiries we have made or any other professional decisions made in the case then it is really important that you make the court aware of these during proceedings.
In this video Kitty (15) and Jess (18), two members of the FJYPB, and Ewan (11), discuss their personal experiences of the family courts and how Cafcass Family Court Advisers (FCAs) supported and listened to them, keeping their best interests at the heart of proceedings.
This video is aimed at children and young people but we hope grown-ups find it useful too.
This video is aimed at grown ups and explains the steps Cafcass may carries out in most cases following a request from the court to help inform a decision about arrangements for children. When the court asks Cafcass to carry out this work, Cafcass will usually send a letter to each party: this video supplements that letter, with further information presented by our practitioners and parents who have experienced the process.
This video is also aimed at grown ups, and presents the type of work Cafcass may carry out when a judge asks us to provide additional information to the court so a safe decision can be made for the child concerned. This video also provides advice for parties ahead of meeting with a Cafcass practitioner, to ensure that they are focused on their child, not the adult dispute.