CAFCASS was created by the amalgamation of the 54 services of the Family Court Welfare Service, which was part of the probation service, the 57 panels of the Guardian ad Litem and Reporting Service, which was run by local authorities, and the children’s branch of the office of the children’s Official Solicitor. These three agencies represented 112 different employers with staff who were a mixture of employed and self-employed, home and office based and with different terms and conditions.
The service’s raison d’etre was that such a new alliance would create a more child-focussed service while drawing on experience and expertise in the three services. It was also felt that national service would be more accountable and that the courts would be better served by an agency that enhanced professionalism by continuous staff development and highlighted and disseminated good practice. CAFCASS is also available to support parents bringing actions in the Family Court because of conflicts over arrangements about their children or finance.
Director: Anthony Douglas
Chair: Baroness Howarth
Address: 6th Floor, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1 3BT
Telephone: 0844 353 3350
Other UK equivalents: CAFCASS Cymru