Cafcass is not only unfit for purpose, it harms the children it’s supposed to protect. Five years of reporting on family courts means I’ve heard plenty of complaints about the failings of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. I’ve always wondered, can things really be so bad? But, as it turns out, for too many families, they are.
Cafcass was set up in 2001 to be the voice of children in family court cases, and to look after their welfare. It employs mainly experienced social workers as “family court advisers” who advise judges in most cases where there are disputes about children, while its “children’s guardians” are appointed to represent minors’ interests in the most contested and entrenched cases.
Louise Tickle is a journalist who specialises in social affairs and family law
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