UK Family Law Reform

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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 4:53 PM
Subject: Cafcass Framework Documentation

Dear Baroness Tyler of Enfield,

Cafcass Framework Documentation

This shows how years can be spent compiling corpo-paperwork without an initiating thought.

I see no acknowledgment here of either:

(i) the single decision at the heart of every contact dispute, i.e., how a child's time should be apportioned between his/her parents

(ii) the primary risk faced by children caught up in these disputes, i.e., that they may lose one of their parents

There is no mention of the primary purpose of the Act in private law disputes.

The consequence is an agency which that engages in doing, without knowing, and, without knowing what to do. This agency started as a dangerous blank in 2001, with no hinterland of meaningless paperwork. After 12 years the agency has developed into a dangerous blank, with a hinterland of meaningless paperwork. It claims (para 1.5) to be a "values-led" organisation. There is nothing to suggest cafcass knows either what those values are, or what those values are about.

Yours Sincerely

David Mortimer

----- Original Message -----
From: Governance@CAFCASS.GSI.GOV.UK
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 10:51 AM
Subject: Caf 691 Freedom of Information request

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Re: Freedom of Information Request

Thank you for your email, which was received on 7th March 2013. You requested the following information:

Please will you kindly provide me with a copy of your risk assessment policy.

We don’t have a standalone risk assessment policy. The Child Protection Policy is available to Cafcass staff as well as the Cafcass Operating policy and Case Recording policy. These can be found at this link:

Please see the risk assessment section of the Operating Framework (2.23, p. 16) which states the following:

Risk assessment 2.23 As a frontline social care agency, Cafcass has a duty to assess risk to children in the course of its work, a duty strengthened by s16A of the Children Act 1989 (also, UNCRC, Article 19).

In our private law work, we assess risk directly, passing concerns about at-risk children to the relevant local authority either as information or as a referral to investigate under s47 of the Children Act. Making appropriate referrals sits alongside our court reporting role about risk. The transfer of concerns to the local authority is important so that the local authority has a record of our concern should the child be the subject of further concerns in future. In our public law work, we analyse whether the risks to a child who is the subject of care proceedings have been appropriately managed. In some cases, the court itself may ask the local authority to formally investigate risk. Assuring ourselves that we have assessed risk properly is built into the Cafcass Case Recording Policy.

Governance Team

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