Cafcass and section 7 reports
If you are involved in Court proceedings relating to your children, you will come across Cafcass and may not be clear as to what it is or what its role is.
Cafcass (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) is an independent organisation which looks after children’s interests where families are involved in Court proceedings. You can find it online by visiting: www.cafcass.gov.uk
A Cafcass Officer’s role is to inform a Court what they feel will benefit the welfare of any child to which the proceedings relate.
After an application has been issued an Officer will contact you to undertake safeguarding checks. The Officer will talk to those involved regarding their concerns, and run checks to see if there has been any police or Social Services involvement. They should make this information available for the first hearing.
Section 7 report
Cafcass (or in some cases a Social Worker) may be asked during the court process to write a section 7 report. A section 7 report is not always needed. The Court requires a section 7 report when it feels it cannot properly resolve the issues without a Cafcass Officer’s input.
The report will provide an analysis of issues relevant to the case. It will also set out recommendations regarding the arrangements for the children and what Orders the Court should be made.
If you do not agree with the report, you have an opportunity to challenge it, for example by asking questions of the Officer at a final hearing.
Ultimately, where there is no agreement, the Court makes the final decision regarding the arrangements for any children.
For more information about Family Court proceedings or any other issues relating to family law or children, please contact: