New standards for guardians on table

Family court practitioners would be appraised against standards calling on them to intervene earlier and more efficiently in cases, under new proposals out for consultation.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service’s draft national standards would enshrine the principles of its controversial professional strategy, Every Day Matters, in Cafcass practice.

Under the proposals, which would amend existing standards, all cases would be screened within one working day, with assessments and case plans completed within six weeks.

Cases would be ranked according to priority, with most time invested in those where there were immediate high risks for children.

A more detailed implementation plan for Every Day Matters will be published later in the year.

Meanwhile, unions have revived their call for Cafcass staff in England to have their salaries raised to the level of Welsh counterparts.

Napo and Unison made the same bid last year amid evidence that family court advisers in Wales were earning up to 14 per cent more than equivalents in England.

This year’s headline pay claim is a 5 per cent or 1,500 increase in salaries, whichever is greater.


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