Cafcass’s London service, which covers 33 local authorities, has been rated as inadequate by Ofsted in six key areas, including its overall effectiveness.
In its latest inspection report Ofsted judged the family courts body’s service to be inadequate in performance management; user engagement; equality and diversity; quality of provision; complaints handling; improving outcomes for children and overall effectiveness.
Inspectors reported that engagement with service users was “very weak”, with assessments not being shared consistently with children and families who were “still waiting too long” for Cafcass to provide them with a service.
However, inspectors found Cafcass was providing a satisfactory service in several other areas, including safeguarding, workforce development and capacity to improve.
Cafcass’ chief executive, Anthony Douglas, said he was pleased that Cafcass’ safeguarding practice was improving, but acknowledged that “it is right that we should be more consistent in what we do”.
“We must also do better in our work on equality and diversity. This, along with improving how we engage with children and families and embedding our performance management systems into our working practices, will provide the main focus of our improvement agenda over the next few months in London,” Douglas said.