Our findings and recommendations for Cafcass Cymru, the family court advice service for children living in Wales.
We undertook its inspection of Cafcass Cymru in November and December 2018. The inspection evaluated performance against set practice directions underpinned by the Children Act 2004.
Key Findings include:
- Officers were committed to delivering best outcomes for children and this has assisted the organisation in managing the increase in the volume of its work.
- Overall the quality of practice observed was good with some excellent engagement with children and families. There was evidence of the voice of the child being at the centre of practice.
- Cafcass’ approach to child impact analysis assisted practitioners in private law cases to focus on the views and needs of the child.
- They seek to improve services for children by working collaboratively to innovate and influence practice.
- There was evidence of effective communication between the judiciary and Cafcass Cymru with senior managers valuing feedback.
- Senior managers maintain effective working relationships with Ministry of Justice, Cafcass England and ADSS Cymru to promote the needs of children and young people in Wales within the wider UK context.
Areas for improvement
- Strengthen signposting to family information services to better inform children and families on support available in their local area.
- Continue work to improve quality of case planning and recording and in particular evidencing direct work undertaken with children.
- Further promote the range and application of direct work tools available to practitioners.
- Strengthen working relationship with Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs).
CIW expects Cafcass Cymru to consider the areas identified for improvement and take appropriate action.
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