Children’s minister Baroness Delyth Morgan has said Cafcass will not be allowed to axe the named guardian system while its statutory duties remain in place.
“We need to be clear: no one can change a statutory duty other than Parliament. So Cafcass’s statutory duties remain in place,” Morgan told Community Care.
Speaking before the election was announced Morgan said: “I expect that every child should have a guardian when the key decisions are taken. I’ve said on a number of occasions that if there are cases where a child hasn’t had a guardian, I want to know about it.”
The Department for Children, Schools and Families recently announced the family courts body would receive a £10m funding boost towards improvements.
Morgan said, in return for this, she expected Cafcass to “deliver a high-quality service, given on request, at pretty much a 10% increase in resource provided by the government”.
She added: “What I know is that the additional resource we’ve made available this year in London has already resulted in a reduction of the backlog for care proceeding cases. That has really helped and I want to see how well Cafcass is going to do with this additional resource.
“What we need to be clear about is that we think they can do a lot better and they do as well. So there is reason to push them and expect more.”