Cafcass: advice for fathers

Cafcass looks after the interests of children involved in family court proceedings. Officers advise the courts on what they consider to be in the best interests of individual children.

 

Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service.

Cafcass is independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies. The main types of cases in which the courts ask Cafcass to help are when:

  • Parents or carers are separating or divorcing and have not reached agreement about arrangements for their children (but only in cases where the Court is specifically concerned about the welfare of the children - down to the Judges’ or Magistrates’ discretion).
  • Social services have become involved and have asked the Court for an order to temporarily remove children from their parents’ care for their safety.
  • Children could be adopted.

A Cafcass officer can only get involved with your family when they have been ordered by the Court. Their role can be general or specific, depending on what it says in the Court Order.

The role of the Cafcass Officer is to look after the best interest of the child. It's important to remember that they are not the enemy and a judge will take their report very seriously. However remember that in law a child has the right to have contact with its family (that's you) unless there are specific questions around the child's safety. The law therefore is working towards that right.

 

What should you do if a Cafcass officer is coming to observe you spending time with your child?

  1. Be mindful that the Cafcass officer is there for the interest of your child and as a parent you should consider that a positive thing as the best interest of your child should be paramount.
  2. Be natural, be yourself. The Officer will know if you are acting differently from normal visits, they are professionals.
  3. Be on time - this is more about respecting your child than anything else but it's these small things that show how considerate a parent you are.
  4. Be respectful - remember that all the professionals are there to help - also be respectful of the child's mother as far as you can regardless of how you feel about her. This will be noted.
  5. Don't be defensive - again if you go in fighting your corner regardless of how much you hurt or how unsupported you feel that will come across aggressively - try to communicate how you feel about the situation verbally in a positive manner at the appropriate time.
  6. Don't use the time to talk to the officer or anyone else, just use the time for your child/ren. You will get the opportunity to be interviewed by the Cafcass officer but make the most of the time you have with your child/ren.
  7. Be prepared - depending on the age of your children, take along appropriate supplies (e.g. nappies, wipes, food & healthy snacks) and think about the kind of interaction you can have with them. Bring along games to play e.g. building blocks for younger children, a board game for older children etc. Demonstrate that you are thinking about the child’s needs & want to spend fun time with them. Your Cafcass Officer will notice how prepared you are to spend time with your child/ren.
  8.  Try to be patient - it can take up to four months for Cafcass to complete their report. During this time they will be doing basic checks with your child’s GP, school or nursery, health visitor etc. They will also contact the police, social services and probation for any past or present records. It is frustrating waiting for the report, but there is nothing you can do to speed up the process but be patient.

Finally, relax and have some fun time with your children, YOU are the ONLY paternal dad they will ever have.
 

For more information about Cafcass go to: www.cafcass.gov.uk

About the author

Clare Kirby qualified as a lawyer in 1983 and worked for several years in industry. She founded Kirby & Co in 1997. As a member of Resolution and an advanced member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel she is experienced and respected in the field of family law. Trained as a collaborative lawyer, Clare offers clients a range of options - traditional, and collaborative law - to best meet the needs of the individual clients.

 

 

Updated: September 2017

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Comments

  • Guest
    guest Sunday, 11 December 2016

    cafcass

    the biggest legalised child abuse system in the country

  • Guest
    Neil Heffey Friday, 23 December 2016

    Concerned Solicitors

    I discovered this site when looking for information on who holds control over Cafcass in order that a complaint could be raised on behalf of my client who is a father. We have represented a number of fathers who have been attempting to obtain access to their children and can confirm the concerns and comments of all those above. CAFCASS is a dangerous organisation with little concern for the children involved. It is very much correct to state that fathers should be concerned where CAFCASS officers are involved. This is a grossly incompetent organisation, destroying the lives of children with open bias views towards mothers. As a father myself, I would rather not see my children than put them through the ordeal of having to be assessed by this organisation which is one of the most incompetent institutions to have been granted powers by Government.

  • Guest
    Distraught father Wednesday, 11 January 2017

    What can we all do?

    We all know that cafcass is a scandal, it's just a money making exercise, they deliberately prolong the the matter as the longer it takes the more money they paid, it's an independent business that no one is auditing, there is no one watching them or stopping them.
    They deliberately will go for a section 7 report as they will get paid more and it takes them along time to prepare.
    They do not care about the children and only care about they pocket, they are bias cos all the support provided top mothers if through government funding, they work hand in hand, it's chain they won't break from the refuge, to solicitors and even many professional.

    There is no justice for the children or the father and mothers are egged on to follow thinking she is getting at the father.

    In the process everyone is damaged and cafcass are the winners. Cos they go home happily with a good salary.

    How do we stop this?
    What do we do about this?
    We all need to unite and stop this unfair court service.

    We need to make this big and save the future which are the children of today who are being damaged.

    Please everyone get together and let's do something
    Let's take it to watch dog or we will always suffer as this will not end.

    The poor grandparents who plan to enjoy life in their retirement sending time with the gem grand children are left suffering too.

    We need to stop this.

    Come together

  • Guest
    Date Thursday, 16 February 2017

    Mr

    I thought i delt with my anger issues for a long while untill i had to get involved with cafcass, thay put u straight back to square one. Thayre service is absolutely diabolical. If ur a father wanting contact with ur child, then the involvement of cafcass is mentioned then im affraid to say you,d just as well give straight up. Some serious action need to be taken against these life destroyers. 100% discusted.

  • Guest
    Leslwy Monday, 20 March 2017

    Concerned

    Daughter partner has ended their long relationship he has his son on a Saturday and is now basically demanding he wants him over night daughter has said she's not ready for him to have him over night and said he can have him all day Sunday aswell as the Saturday . Daughter and baby trying to settle into new home and finding it stressful he keeps mithering it's only really started since his relationship with new partner who has children of her own .He also keeps throwing in my daughter's face he has parental responsibility of which she said that doesn't mean custody and explained it means he has a say in his religion schooling and so on. What are his rights does my daughter have to let him have him over night the father won't go to mediation

  • Guest
    John Hargrave Saturday, 15 April 2017

    Mr

    I totally agree with all comments about cafcass has my son his having to fight to see his son and the mother has caused us loads of trouble with the help of her family cause they can't confront us and man up they hide behind the Police and when she been violently abusive towards my son by punching kicking and spitting at him and when told the court the first time he went he was told by the Judge to stop being malicious and sided with the scumbag of a mother.

  • Guest
    Mom Thursday, 18 May 2017

    Cafcass=Carcass

    I have enjoyed reading a few comments on here regarding Cafcass officers and how they work and found these comments very funny and a bit bias towards a mother. The reason why I say this is because my daughter and granddaughter are currently being dragged through the courts by a very unfit father. I say he's unfit because he tried to kill my daughter, he also fought with her, iinvolved and hurt my granddaughter who was between 3-4 months old when this happened. He is a Wolf in sheep's clothing where as she gave him a home, a family and being he was 42 years old at the time and no prior children, a baby, a daughter, a beautiful innocent daughter. This was not enough for him he wanted complete control. He has nearly destroyed the lives of her two older boys, no he is not their father, thank God. He took a beautiful, peaceful, fun-loving family and nearly tore it in half, why did he do this, because my daughter asked him to make a baby bottle whilst she changed the baby, see he is not capable of changing a nappy, everything was done by her. She was taken out of this situation because the police thought it was funny and she got the blame for it, she had to go into refuge just to get the help she needed which was a joke because BAWSO threw her out (long story, short). He then decided he wanted contact with his daughter so took her to court, the judge decided to appoint a cafcass officer who've spend more time on holiday than in work. Cut an even longer story short, he has been found to be a very bad user of cannabis/skunk and also beats his mother up for drug money, (proof of this came from his own brother), he's also on high rate ESA for being a jeckyl and Hyde (psychopath). Yet the courts have blasted my daughter for this? The courts have told her he will get visitation rights and she will abide by his ruling. The courts ordered he have a drug test, submit a doctors report and psychiatrist report from him, why he ordered this is stupid because she's been told non of it will get used in court. The cafcass officer spent more time on leave than in work, she demanded my daughter get all the evidence together which her brief told cafcass to get lost and do it herself, she went to 2 of the 6 contact sessions where my daughter was made to calm her daughter down when she refused to see her father, she had to change her nappy because he couldn't/wouldn't do it and HE GETS TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER EVEN THOUGH HES A HIGH RISK JUNKIE? The cafcass has just submitted her report to the court and has torn my daughter to pieces, she's blamed my daughter for everything, even for not having the reports the judge has ordered and she's meant to have gotten herself, why has the cafcass done this we can only guess their sharing the same cannabis plant. My daughter has done nothing but comply with the courts yet he's still being allowed to stalk my daughter, beat his mother, tell the courts he's not after his daughter he wants mine and they are praising him for it. Maybe all you men or potential dad's or you male victims of injustice need to take a step back and take a look inside what really goes on. If you were a good dad in the first place you wouldn't be fighting for your kids in the second place, women get NO say in what happens to their kids anymore, no court or judge or cafcass office gives a s**t anymore. When my daughter or granddaughter becomes another mortuary resident I hope nobody asks "why", "how" or "what for", when we know it will only stop when she's either dead or seriously hurt maybe then he and the courts will be happy

  • Guest
    a hopeless dad Friday, 19 May 2017

    give dad's some respect

    all comments here are against cafcass and careless judges. women's play a cat and mouse game with men's. mosty it's all about money money money. women's want to take every single penny of him. still making excuses to bring children even there's a court order to bring them. we heard these stories every day so what over Mps doing . is this not there job to make some changes to law in favour to poor hopeless broken dad's.

  • Guest
    Paul Thursday, 13 July 2017

    The most destructive abusive and vile organisation in the WORLD - responsible for more mental health issues, fatherless children and hate-enforcing bunch of lesbians you could ever meet

    The CAFCASS militia are mostly made up of feminist officers who love to talk about their 'training', 'experience' and 'professional' skills in a court, to justify their own importance.

    Their position is not to work with families, or to support parents and children in difficult situations, and find a solution for the child to see both loving parents, but to amplify and mould the righteous, opposing and hateful position of the mother.

    This conspiratal organisation is perhaps one of the most vile, most harmful and most biased institutions in the world, and are responsible for more broken families, more fear and more mental health issues that any other influence.

    NO CAFCASS officer should EVER be trusted. This organisation is rotten to the core. Unfortunately, if ever you become involved in ANY family litigation, you must certainly equip yourself with some very carefully researched information about CAFCASS, and ideally you will need the very best of representation in a court. Especially if you are a father, facing any type of false allegation.

    CAFCASS'S underlying objection is to take control of your child, and to influence parents into believing that THEY are working in the child's best interests.

    This is a LIE!

    Do NOT at any cost, ever get involved with CAFCASS. They are dangerous, anti-father, state warriors with the sole intention of dividing your family.

    Seek independent psychologists help if EVER CAFCASS are attempting to speak to your child to counter their lies, their single-minded, immoveable, and destructive narrative. They will destroy you, destroy your relationships with your children, and make you feel like life is not worth living.

    THIS ORGANISATION NEEDS TO BE DISBANDED / ABOLISHED AND REPLACED WITH A SYSTEM THAT HAS BOTH PARENTS INTERESTS AS WELL AS THE CHILDREN AT HEART.

  • Guest
    Thundersquirrel Sunday, 13 August 2017

    Misconduct in Public Office

    Harriet Harman instructed the police to ignore evidence and try to prosecute men for 'violence against women and girls'. Erin Pizzey calls it 'feminist fraud' and says it always been about the money and funding.

    With all the evidence I've heard of against Cafcass from father's it seems likely she has done the same with Cafcass. Follow the evidence trail and it all leads back to Women's Aid, Cafcass and police both have links with them.

    That's their MO and all fathers need to understand that.

    Not sure if a family court will accept recordings, but a criminal court probably will. Why shouldn't Cafcass, police and Harman be under a criminal investigation by the public when there's clearly reasonable grounds for suspicion.

    Section 6 of the Prosecution of Offenders Act. Once enough men join together with recordings proving corruption by police and Cafcass and that Harman put them up to it, I hope a leading barrister like Michael Mansfield QC brings a private prosecution and a jury gets to decide their guilt.

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Guest Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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