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CAFCASS officer

A Cafcass Officer (also known as a Family Court Advisor) is a specialist social worker whose role is (where possible) to help you agree the arrangements for your children, carry out safeguarding enquiries, and, if asked by the judge, to write a more detailed report for the Court about your children’s needs and/or wishes.

When you make an Application to Court for a Child Arrangement Order, The Children and Family Court and Advisory Service (CAFCASS) is sent a copy of your Application. They will then carry out safeguarding enquiries to make sure your child is safe and not at risk of any harm.
A Cafcass Officer will carry out the following enquiries:

1.    Check your Application to Court to see if you have ticked any of the boxes to say that you are concerned about the risk of harm to your child or children. Sometimes even if you haven’t ticked any of these boxes, there may be something in your overview that suggests there could be a risk. So, for example, if you mention that your children’s father is about to be released from prison, they will probably look into this further.

2.    Take into consideration any C1A form that has been completed and decide whether they think there is a genuine risk of harm.

3.    Carry out initially checks with the Police and Social Services to find out whether they have been involved with you, your ex-partner or your family, and whether they have any concerns about either parent. These checks are standard practice and happen in every Application for a Child Arrangement Order. If your family has not had any contact with the Police or Social Services the report will clarify this.

The Cafcass Officer will then provide the Court with this information by way of a Safeguarding Report, usually in time for the First Hearing. Cafcass /CAFCASS Cymru will usually give this information to you too, but generally not until the day of the hearing.

In many circumstances, the Court can ask a Cafcass Officer to write a more detailed report for the Court about your children’s needs. The Court may ask the Cafcass Officer to focus on one or more particular issues which you disagree about or to find out your children’s views.

Talk to Howells

If you’re going through a separation or divorce and children are involved, Howells Solicitors can help. We have a specialist Child Care Department that can ensure that your position is fairly represented in Court. To benefit from the assistance and experience of our sensitive team of child law solicitors, email: or call us on 08081782773.

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