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TOPIC: S7 Cafcass

S7 Cafcass 4 months 2 weeks ago #92768

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Hi,

I posted not too long ago about the court directing my partner and his ex a S7 report by cafcass before varying the order.
He went to court end of March and the judge directed the s7 to be conducted and put the next court date for mid July. He had to submit a statement to cafcass for this s7 report and the original date of completion for the s7 was in April but they have extended it till early/mid July.
My partner still hasnt been contacted by the cafcass officer other than receiving a letter to say that they have extended the completion date.

We are not aware if cafcass has been in contact with his ex and conducted the interviews on the mother/child.

Qs:
How far in advance do they usually get in contact? Obviously if they wanted to his child whilst in his presence at his home they only have this weekend to visit but havent yet been in contact.
Are they able to do the visit without the child present/only complete a telephone interview and pass judgement?
And is there any chance they won't complete it prior to the court date?
Also, what is the next hearing usually about? My partner and his ex are not agreeing on summer contact, The order says about extending time but the mother is refusing to extend time accordingly to the order but only extending it to what she feels. Is this something they will be able to discuss or will the hearing just be the outcome of s7 (if it gets done)?

Thanks in advance

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 2 weeks ago #92773

From my recent experience with CAFCASS, I’ve had waited and waited and then finally had to call them to find out what is happening due to it getting close to hearing dates or report submission dates. Then end up having a telephone conversation.
In the earlier years of my case it was similar but managed to get face to face with them and to get them to see (child) with me. the more recent years the CAFCASS officer refused to do face to face with (child) with me, but did do it with (child’s) mother, in their home and not without her being out of touching distance….so from my opinion (child) unable to speak freely and confidentially without potentially “upsetting” mother!

Fingers crossed you get a good one that can separate bullpoop from fact and willing to accept previous evidence that gives the history of your ex’s frustrating of contact.
They should meet the deadline, if they cannot then they need a kick up the backside by a judge, i would be asking the courts why they have had to extend.

The next hearing i’d suggest would be a directions hearing, mainly to go through the S7 report findings and recommendations. If you agree or disagree with anything in the report then you’ll be able to challenge it at that hearing and the judge will then decide if contact can resume or not and if so how it should progress, if your ex disagrees then the judge may direct it for a final hearing to hear more detailed arguments from you both.

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Dad-i-d

i'm not legally trained....i'm just a Dad going through hell to see his child grow up and become a decent man and human being.....my goal is simple...to be the father to my child like my father is to me...my hero.

Started this battle 2010.....who knows when the fighting will stop!

Parental Alienation is real and is abuse!

S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92785

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Thanks dad-i-d! I don't think it's fair that they spoke to the child Infront of the mother and also didn't even visit you, we should be treated equally..

Struggling to believe that they will visit or complete it by their deadline but only time will tell..if not maybe my partner can contact the court? He doesn't want to go to the next hearing just to be sent away because cafcass haven't completed the S7 and so they cannot have a hearing..

Mother alleged a lot of domestic violence in court but in her statement didn't mention it at all and mainly focused on the child not to have contact with the father's family and even said she has no concern for the father's care. So I wondered if cafcass just thought it's not necessary for a home visit?

I'm sure my partner will be happy as long as he can discuss the upcoming summer holidays contact on the next hearing.

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92793

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I would definitely contact the court and cafcass about the cafcass delay, the judge may decide to adjourn if the reports aren't ready, which isn't in his or the child's best interests. I would advise that he still attends the hearing, in any event.

Generally cafcass would make a home visit when preparing an S7 but I have known it take place at their office. They're cutting it fine for sure!

It might be worth preparing a brief position statement for the next hearing, with the latest developments and what you would like to happen for the holidays, referencing her statement that she has no concerns about your partner or hos care of the child.

All the best

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92802

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Thank Mojo.

He will turn up to the hearing regardless but obviously hoping the case wont be adjourned.

Would you contact cafcass? or the court? and if the court before or after the cafcass deadline? I know theres no right or wrong here but my partner contacted cafcass a couple of weeks ago and they just say the same thing - someone will be in contact with you.

The position statement will be pretty much the same as he previously wrote for the variation hearing which was prepared for the hearing but the judge directed s7. I will give tell my partner your suggestion as an option (esp referencing her statement)

Going slightly off topic here but any advise about travel arrangements?
My partner and his ex agreed in court (verbally) that he will do all travelling until the child is 5. Now he is asking to share travel arrangements only 6 months earlier (along with extended contact on weekends - start friday evening not sat morning) but i have a funny feeling his ex is just going to say she still isnt confident driving even after 2 years of having her license.

My partner has not got a license to drive my car (he has auto and I have a manual car) so it ends up me having to do all the driving and it gets a bit too much for me every now and then!

If i leave my partner to get public transport it will take 2+ hours one way which i dont think is fair on him or the child. Will the court take into consideration the fact that im having to do it? Im worried they are going to say it seems to be working so to leave it as it is and not make the mother do anything ...Which may also rule out friday evening contact due to work/travel/routine times but if the mother could share it would mean extra contact, shared travel and no affect to childs routine..

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92820

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On the practical side, does his ex drive her child round, I would say that if she claims she isn't confident in driving, then perhaps she should be taking her child in the car at all. It's a tenuous argument, more to try to argue that she must be reasonably confident.

On your own side, I would also suggest that your partner gets his manual licence - I'm not sure of the process exactly, but if he's been driving for a while, then I can't see that converting to a manual should be too difficult.

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92826

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Thanks actd especially for the refocus
We are looking to get his manual license, it's just a practical test to upgrade an auto license no need to redo the theory test.
His ex drives to the handover location which she claims is 30 minutes from her (new) home.
We now only live 40 minutes from each other (with traffic) and the handover location is completely out of the way for both of them. Even if they were to change the handover location in the middle of their homes would help - also for the child, she currently spends an hour 15 when she could easily be in the car for 30-40 minutes.

Update on S7 - my partner emailed the case worker a polite email to find out what's going on and received an out of office email that says they are on annual leave until 8th July inclusive....

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92832

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Definitely I would be contacting cafcass to get some firm commitment from them, I would also keep the court in the loop, but definitely straight after the deadline has passed. If you want an adjournment after this point, you would put the request in writing to the court, with your reasons.... the question is do you want your case to be delayed?

I would make the suggestions about travel arrangements, it's a grey area and some courts will make directions for it to be shared. Prepare a schedule of how you would like contact to work and mention that you have a copy with you, either in your position statement, or verbally to the judge, but don't attach it to the PS.

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92841

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Thanks for the reply again - i will sort some paperwork for the hearing so he can have it to hand for suggestions if they get to that stage in the hearing!

He has emailed Cafcass (an email provided in their out of office message) and basically gave a background
- received a letter of change of case worker due to illness - contacted the new case worker to introduce whom said they will be in contact for an appointment.
- Received a letter from Cafcass stating they have extended the deadline to 10th July.
- Emailed yesterday the case worker to find out they are on leave till 8th July inclusive.

Asked for someone to contact and update and just raised that (my partner) would be disappointed to attend court and have the hearing adjourned as cafcass have not completed their report which would delay proceedings and not be in the childs interest. Metioned one of the concerns is to agreee contact for the upcoming summer holidays as mother is not extending time accordingly to the order and that he would not want the child to miss further contact.
Said (he) would greatly appreciated if they could contact back as a matter of urgency as both deadline and court are near approaching.

Hopefully he will receive some sort of contact from Cafcass.

If nothing is done through cafcass by the deadline then im sure my partner will email the courts. Cafcass have had since end of March to complete this report. Although, I'm not entirely sure what the court can do? The court date was perfect as it was just before summer holidays so delaying it really won't help!

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92858

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Hi there

We're now at the weekend, how the case worker can prepare an in depth report, interview two ppl and write it up in two days is pie in the sky in my opinion. I wouldn't feel confident that the body of the report was carried out properly and that the analysis was well thought out.

Personally I would want the hearing to go ahead and ask for the summer holidays to be considered by the court within the framework of extending the order. Asthat had already formed part of the original order, I would be asking for that to be actioned.

The court that made the existing order, felt that progressing the order was in the child's best interests so I would try and argue that the situation hasn't changed, that the mother is being obstructive and what is needed is definition so that the increases can be progressed as was envisaged.

All the best

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92939

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Thank you.

So we have written a letter - ready to email tomorrow evening (as tomorrow is the deadline) and still have had no contact from CAFCASS.

Basically said that it is disappointing not to have had the s7 completed, hoping they can continue the variation proceedings but if not (he) will understand. Requested for clarification on the current arrangement order specifically the summer holidays with reference to the order by stating the below..
It states, 'the child is to spend up to 5 consecutive nights by the time she is 4 years old and up to 7 consecutive nights by the time she is 5 years old.' In the findings of fact it then states the child should spend 7 nights from her fifth birthday.

Reminded them of the childs current age and when they will be 5 and lastly said that he believes it is best to increase her nights as envisaged so the child does not feel the father is not interested and that he would like the child to know she has 2 loving families with a committed father. Said without clarification there is a possibilty that the mother will refuse contact which will affect the child.

Personally, seeing my partner go through this and stress out - I think it is a massive let down from CAFCASS and hoping the court will at least discuss the summer holidays if they cant continue with the variation proceedings.

Thanks from everyone who has helped. I will post any updates.

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S7 Cafcass 4 months 1 week ago #92943

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Well we have had a response just not too long ago.
Cafcass have now said they do not need to see child with father but will do a home visit for tomorrow Wednesday or Thursday. It's ridiculous to accommodate at such short notice with work commitment.
Said they have extended the date to 16th July and court is on 17th July.

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