The government has accepted calls by a select committee of the Lord
Chancellor’s department to seriously review the board membership of
the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.
The announcement follows the resignation of Anthony Hewson this
month as chairperson of Cafcass after three years in the
The board was criticised in the committee’s report into the
organisation’s performance published in July for failing to
properly scrutinise performance.
In its response this week, the government said the review would be
carried out promptly and it would “then consider what steps are
necessary, if any, to help the board work most effectively”.
Cafcass acknowledged that it was currently unable to allocate cases
as speedily as it would like in all areas, but emphasised that
action was being taken and that “more has been achieved than we
have been given credit for”.
Cafcass promised to increase the involvement of children in
developing services, improve and communicate actions being taken to
support and develop the workforce, and improve partnership working,
governance arrangements and funding.
However, it warned: “The problem is clear. Without an adequate
budget we cannot reduce delays and improve the basic quality of our
But guardians’ representative body Nagalro warned that the
government and Cafcass were in danger of “papering over the