MPs hear guardian service criticism

Experts in children’s law have criticised as ineffective the
£9m project that was supposed to pave the way for the smooth
establishment of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support

Pat Munro, chairperson of the Law Society’s children’s law
subcommittee, said she was “startled” when Cafcass’s previous chief
executive Diane Shepherd and legal services director Charles Prest
told her they had seen nothing from the team set up to manage the

Speaking at the Cafcass inquiry held by the Select Committee on the
Lord Chancellor’s Department, Munro said Prest and Shephard had not
even heard of papers that were put together by the team’s legal
advisory group (news, page 6, 8 May).

“It was as if nothing that happened before 1 April 2001 mattered,”
added Liz Goldthorpe of the Association of Lawyers for Children.

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