Failing Cafcass service areas would be subject to more frequent inspections, under proposals published by Ofsted to tighten up the regulation of the family court body.
Inadequate areas would get “frequent and rigorous” monitoring until weaknesses had been addressed. Ofsted also proposed publishing all reports more quickly – within three weeks of the inspection concluding – before Cafcass had responded to the findings and produced an action plan, as at present.
The inspectorate said the current delays in publishing reports were “unhelpful” and that the current inclusion of Cafcass’ action plan could wrongly give the impression that Ofsted had endorsed it.
All Cafcass services would also be inspected during an initial three-year period starting in April next year, with each inspection completed within eight weeks.
Ofsted’s consultation on changes to Cafcass’ inspection regime follows three reports this year into its East Midlands, South East and South Yorkshire service areas, all of which were highly critical of private law practice.
All Cafcass services should be inspected during an initial three-year period staring April next year
intend that the findings of these inspections will be made available to the public as soon after the inspection finishes