Cafcass Safeguarding Checks

Posted on Monday, 31st Aug, 2015 at 11:43:53 PM
If you issue an application in the Family Court then you will undoubtedly have some contact with a CAFCASS officer. Initially they will contact you to carry out what are known as Safeguarding Checks. This means that they will ask you for you details (name, date of birth etc) so that they can check with the police and social services etc whether there is any information about the adults and children involved in the case. This information is then provided to the Court before the first hearing. Generally speaking a Court should not make an order involving children unless it has this information available.

When an application is forwarded to CAFCASS they will undertake some initial safeguarding checks. As part of those checks they look into both parties' police convictions and history with the Local Authority. They will also speak with both parties briefly by telephone to ascertain their positions regarding the application.

They will then put all of this information together into a very brief report which will be used by the Court at the first hearing. This report is known as a Schedule 2 Letter to Court. The report will conclude with a recommendation as to how the court should proceed. The recommendation can range from there being no reason for Cafcass to remain involved and inviting the court to make an Order it sees fit to asking the court to allow it to undertake a full investigation and provide a detailed recommendation on the most appropriate way forward.

At the first hearing the Schedule 2 Report will be given to the Judge and all parties. Sometimes the report is posted to the parties before the hearing, other times it is given to them on the day of the hearing. On the day there will then by a duty Cafcass Officer available at Court to talk with all parties and obtain their views on the recommendation. If there are no safeguarding concerns the he Cafcass Officer will help try to settle the matter between the parties. If Cafcass wish to undertake a detailed investigation before providing a recommendation they will discuss what can be done in the meantime to ensure that the child's best interests are met.

For more information on Cafcass: https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/

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