Adults Leaflet

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  • 8/4/2019 Adults Leaflet


    Everything you need to know

  • 8/4/2019 Adults Leaflet


    About CafcassWe work with children and familieswho are involved in family court cases.

    We only work in England and are a non-departmental public

    body accountable to the Secretary o State or Children, Schools

    and Families. We operate within the law made by Parliament

    and under the rules governing the amily courts in England.

    We work with

    families when:* separated parents cannot

    agree on arrangements

    or their children and one

    o them has made an

    application to court.

    * a local authority hasapplied to court to take

    a child into care.

    * a child is placed or adoption.

    Our most important

    roles are to:* keep children sae.* give inormation, advice

    and support to children

    and their amilies.

    * help the amily courts makethe best possible decisions

    about children.


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    What is

    Cafcass Role?Our most important role isto make sure that the children

    and young people we work

    with are kept sae and that

    they are put rst in amily

    court cases. Our workers

    (sometimes called Family Court

    Advisers FCAs) representchildren in court and advise

    the courts on what they

    consider to be in childrens

    best interests. The cour t will

    always consider what the

    Cacass worker and others

    in the case have said. However,

    when making a decision, thecourt will not always do

    what the Cacass worker

    has recommended.

    Our FCAs are registered

    as social workers with the

    General Social Care Council

    and are experienced in working

    with children and amilies

    at dicult times in their

    lives. They are independent

    o all other agencies suchas the courts and local

    authority childrens services.

    Your Cacass worker will be

    able to answer any questions

    you may have and will also be

    able to assist you i you need

    extra help in the orm o an

    interpreter or need to haveinormation translated.


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    In some cases our work with

    amilies will be brie and willonly take place at the start o

    the court case. In other cases

    we may, i the court asks,

    be more heavily involved.

    Read on to nd out more

    about our work in dierent

    kinds o cases.

    Keeping children safeAs part o our duty to help keep children sae, inmany cases we will check with other organisations,such as the police or the local authority childrensservices, to see i they have any relevant inormationabout childrens saety and welare.


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    In these cases we will try tohelp parents come to a sae

    agreement that puts their

    children rst. However, going

    to court is not the only option

    and the court may recommend

    that you take part in the

    ollowing activities instead.

    Separated ParentsInformation Programmes

    These courses help parents

    to become more aware o

    the eect that their separation,

    and any continuing confict,

    may have on their children.

    They oten help parents to

    work out agreements withoutneeding more court hearings.

    Snapshot on contact

    and residence casesWhen parents split up or do not live together,it can sometimes be dicult or them to agreeon arrangements or their children, such aswhere their children live (residence) andwho they see (contact).


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    I you cannot reach a saeagreement about your children,

    the court will decide the

    outcome o your case. At the

    rst court hearing, the court

    might ask a Cacass worker

    to talk to you both about your

    amily, meet with your children

    and prepare a report or

    the court. The report will be

    based on the Cacass workers

    assessment o what is best

    or your children. Beore thecourt makes a decision, it will

    read the Cacass report and

    listen to what you and other

    people in the case have said.

    The court will pay particular

    attention to the childs wishes

    and eelings but will make

    a decision based on what

    is thought to be best

    or your children.

    Please read our factsheet, Putting your childrenfirst for more information.


    This involves meeting with a specially trained person to

    help you and your ex-partner move towards an agreement.

    Mediation can be less stressul than court proceedings because

    it helps to reduce confict, is less expensive and is based on

    parents reaching a sae agreement about their children together.


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    Snapshot on care proceedingsI a local authority is worried about your childrens

    welare, they may apply to court to take yourchildren into care. Children are only taken intocare i the court believes that they are suering,or are likely to suer, signicant harm as a resulto the way they are being looked ater, or i thechild is beyond the parents control.

    In these cases our role is to

    look careully at the local

    authoritys work and its uture

    care plan or your children.

    We also advise the cour t on

    what we think should happen,

    based on our assessment o

    your case. The Cacass worker

    will talk to you and, depending

    on their age, to your children

    as well. Sometimes they will

    also talk to other members o

    your amily and people such as

    teachers and health workers.

    They will then write a report

    or the court, explaining what

    they think is best or your

    children. The court will read

    this beore making its decision.

    The court has to pay particular

    attention to your childrens

    wishes and eelings but will

    make a decision based on

    what it thinks is best or

    your children.

    Please read our factsheet,Keeping children safefor more information.


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    Snapshot on adoptionAdoption is the legal step that permanentlytakes away parental responsibility roma childs birth parents and givesit to one or more adoptive parents.

    There are several dierent kinds o adoption

    cases in which we are involved. These include:

    *when parents decide it may be best i their child is adopted.

    *when a local authority is concerned about the welareo a child and supports a plan o adoption or that child.

    *when the child lives in a step-amily and the step-parentwants to adopt their partners child.

    In cases where parents agree

    to the adoption, our role is to

    make sure that the parents ully

    understand what it means orthem and their child and to

    check that they really do agree

    to the adoption. In cases where

    one or both o the parents do

    not agree to the adoption, our

    role is to represent the child

    and to advise

    the court onwhether the

    adoption is

    in the childs

    best interests.

    Please read our factsheet, Making

    a new start for more information.


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    ConfidentialityI you meet with a Cacass

    worker, they may include any

    inormation you give them in

    their report to court, i they have

    been asked to produce one.

    We may also have to pass on

    inormation about you or your

    children to other people, such asthe police or a local authority, i

    we have any worries about your

    childrens saety or welare.

    The pressSince April 2009, journalists

    have been allowed to go

    to amily court hearings.However, they need the courts

    permission beore they can

    report anything rom the case

    and they are not allowed to

    report details o any case that

    would lead to you or your

    amily being identied. It is

    unlikely that journalists will goto any o your court hearings.

    However, i they do and you

    eel there are good reasons

    why they should not be allowed

    to be there, you should let thecourt know.

    ContactPointContactPoint is a national

    computer system that will help

    to keep children and young

    people sae by allowing the

    proessionals who work with

    them to share inormation. From

    2009, ContactPoint will list the

    names and contact details or:

    * all children in Englandup to the age o 18.

    *their parents and carers.

    * proessionals and servicesworking with a child.

    Other things you should know


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    We are committed to providing you with anexcellent service and to treating everyone airly.

    Our customer-care standards our promise to you

    We have created our customer-

    care standards that explain

    your rights and how you can

    expect to be treated by us. You

    can nd our standards on our

    website at



    To make sure that we treat

    everyone airly, we may ask you

    some questions about issues

    such as your ethnic origin,

    religion and sexuality. This

    inormation will help us to

    make sure we consider all

    aspects o your amilys needsin our work with you. It will

    also allow us to monitor how

    well we are supporting all parts

    o the community.


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    Compliments, comments,concerns and complaintsI you would like to make a compliment, commentor complaint about our work, you can do so bytalking to your Cacass worker or, i you preer, totheir Service Manager at your local Cacass oce.

    You can also email us at: [email protected] or write to us

    at: Feedback, Cacass, 6 Mendip House, High Street, Taunton, TA1 3SX.

    You can make a complaint to

    us i you are unhappy with thebehaviour o our sta. You can

    also make a complaint i you

    believe we have made any

    actual errors in our report to

    court wherever possible we

    will put these right. I you are

    unhappy with the report, it is

    important that you, or yoursolicitor (i you have one)

    let the court know about

    your concerns.

    You cannotmake a

    complaint to us i

    you are unhappy with the

    courts decisions. Instead, youwill need to consider, perhaps

    with legal advice, whether to

    appeal against any decisions.

    To nd out more,

    please ask or a copy

    o our concerns and

    complaints actsheet.

    What do we mean by a concern or complaint?


  • 8/4/2019 Adults Leaflet


    Cafcass , 6th Floor, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street,London, SW1P 3BT | T. 0844 353 3350 |

    Cafcass. Published March 2010 ISBN 9789999101202

    MyCacass is a secure, personalised websitewhere you can fnd out more about Cacass

    and the amily courts.You can log in at by entering your

    username and password. I you do not have your login

    details, please ask your Cacass worker.

    By logging on you can: Find out what happens at dierent stages o a case.

    Complete a sel-assessment.

    Pick up helpul hints rom other people who have been

    in a similar position to you by watching video clips.

    Use HearNow, our online eedback tool.

    View your online Cacass calendar.

    You can also fnd out more about Cacass and the amily

    court system by going to our website

    Ask your Cafcass worker for your logon details:Username: Password: