Cafcass's response to increased demand for its services: report by the Comptroller and Auditor General

National Audit Office
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The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) looks after the interests of children involved in Family Court proceedings in England. At the request of the courts, it works with children and their families and advises the court on the child’s best interests. It provides an independent view of children’s circumstances and plays an important part in assisting the judiciary with their decisions about children’s futures. In 2009/10 CAFCASS supported children and families in approximately 57,000 cases and spent £130 million grant-in-aid. Between December 2008 and April 2010 Ofsted inspected ten CAFCASS service six areas, assessing the overall effectiveness of eight as inadequate and two as satisfactory. Ofsted acknowledged the difficulties that the increase in demand had placed on service areas, but found the quality of case work to be variable and generally low. This report examines whether CAFCASS: could have forecast the rapid and sustained increase in care cases; could have responded more effectively; and is prepared for reasonable variations in future demand.

Subject terms:
management, performance evaluation, service uptake, accountability, caseload, CAFCASS;
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Series name:
(HC 289)
ISBN print:
978 0 10 296545 2

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