Cafcass needs to restructure in a way that would allow practitioners to exercise their professional judgement freely, Nagalro said, a priority highlighted by Munro in the first two instalments of her review.
“Cafcass’s culture, organisational structure and approach, exemplified by its draft operating manual, are not consistent with the direction of travel of the Munro Review,” a Nagalro spokesman told Community Care.
“It is imperative that there is sufficiently far-reaching change if the service remains to be delivered by a non-departmental public body. The complex tasks undertaken by family court practitioners demand highly skilled practitioners being enabled to use their professional judgment to protect the best interests of children.”
The government won’t make a final response until the Family Justice Review publishes its final report.
But the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) said some Family Justice Review proposals should be moved forward immediately.
“Some of the recommendations will require primary legislation and structural change over a long period, but some of the issues identified in the review need a speedier response to improve the increasing delays and costs,” said Matt Dunkley, vice president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).
“We would like the next stage of the review to identify those areas where there are quick wins – in particular around the use of multiple assessments and the duplication of effort in managing the system.”
Dunkley told Community Care that areas such as dropping the need for multiple assessments or duplicated social worker assessments could be candidates for this early action.
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