Putting children and young people first in the family courts




Our work with children

In some cases Cafcass workers may meet and undertake direct work with families. This will help them prepare a report to the court on what they consider to be in the best interests of the child. Cafcass workers may choose to use some of the tools below: 


Child Impact Tool

This tool is designed for practitioners to work through sequentially, gradually building up to talk about potentially more distressing aspects of a child’s life. It can be used as part of a wider safety assessment and analysis and can be disclosed to the court in its own right as a record of what the child has said. The practitioner guidance provides some more information about how this tool should be used.


  How it looks to me

Impact Tool

      Practitioner Guidance

         Practioner handbook Small


My Family Court Record

This tool is not intended for submission to court. Instead, it allows the child to keep a record of their case and their involvement in it for them to look back on in future years, should they choose to do so. The child may choose to complete the sheets by themselves or with the support of the Cafcass worker, their parent or carer or social worker.


Leaflet for older children

     Older My Family Court Record

  Leaflet for younger children

           Young My Family Court Record


My Needs, Wishes and Feelings Pack

My Needs, Wishes and Feelings is one of the tools Cafcass workers use to help a young person share their feelings directly with the court, if they wish to do so. This resource has been developed in consultation with Cafcass workers, external partners and children.

My Needs Wishes and Feelings video

View the Handbook for Practitioners on using My Needs, Wishes and Feelings.


Forms for older childrenForms for younger children

1 My Needs, Wishes and Feelings summary

1 My Needs, Wishes and Feelings summary

2 About me

2 About me

3 Important things that have happened to me

3 Important things that have happened to me

4 Things that make me feel safe

4 Things that make me feel safe

5 My thoughts

5 What I need now

6 What I want to happen next

6 My needs

7 My needs
Option 1/Option 2

7 How I feel about my future

8 Feelings about my future
Option 1/Option 2

8 My plan

9 My plan

9 Express yourself

10 Express yourself

10 What I want to say

11 What I want to say


Fact sheet for older children

Fact sheet for younger children


Click here for more resources.

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