Cafcass need to be closed down
Hi, I read many reviews here and trust pilot about cafcass. All saying the same things, biased by mothers, father's allegations not given the right way or watered, contacts with children forbidden, only because of the false and malicious allegations of the mothers. I have been told this is because cafcass and court are taking the allegations of the mother seriously and they do risk management. Indeed only a stupid can belive so. Risk management needs assessments; cafcass is not able to assess the risks because working on probabilities. The court seating there waiting what this sort of pseudo family court advisor, underpaid and not even a children psychologist, has to say only in favour of the mother, finalised to punish children and deprive them from their loved fathers. How could they possibly are working in the best interests of children?
What upset me most, by reading all this negative comments, is that I raised a few government petitions to close down cafcass and only 20 people signed it. How come? So instead of spending time to write this usefully reviews, why not to sign a petition to make things better?
There was a parliament debate recently about reforming CAFCASS. Not sure if you came across it:
Cafcass is necessary, and can't simply be shut down. They do suffer from a chronic staff shortage (same as any government department) which hampers them, but doesn't mean that the concept is bad.
One issue is that where cafcass is involved, then by it's very nature, there is a dispute which means that, when the final decision is made, one parent is going to be unappy at the result, and the other is going to be pleased, and of course, the one who is pleased if far less likely to post a review, which means that most reviews will be bad ones. I can certainly say that in my own case, I was very pleased with the outcome, and the way cafcass acted, but I'm sure if you'd have asked my ex at the time, she would say that cafcass acted badly.
I would say that cafcass shouldn't be closed, but they need the funds to be able to spend more time on the cases they do have, but even then, there will still always be winners and losers.
@actd Thank you for sharing your experience with Cafcass. In the Child Arrangement Order proceeding the one who really loose is the child not the mother neither the father. Cafcass has over 1000s negative reviews, not just in this forum, check Trustpilot, 97% of the reviews are all negative and saying the same things. You must be have been the lucky one. Another point, you said Cafcass suffer from a chronic shortage of staff, this is not in the best interests of children; who is going to explain to children " you are seeing daddy only 8 days per months, because Cafcass is in chronic shortage of staff, and it is in your best interest not to see daddy as mummy seeing you". How the children who loves their daddy will react? Cafcass could exist if the family court advisors, who are indeed not psychologist, if reformed as quick as possible. Another point is that Cafcass is biased by mothers as the history taught us very often men have been violent. However this is not my case as many cases, the mother has no issue in not speaking the true, as a result, Cafcass ignored all my documented allegations and trying to erase all the unlawful actions the mother did (International abduction, secret relocation, false declaration, and unilateral decision in the upbringing of our child, just to list a few, these all documented and Cafcass ignored its).
Certainly Cafcass is contributing to delay matters and damage children's life. My child is posed constantly to emotional abuse by the mother, Cafcass is not helping on this at all, instead the Section 7 report has been watered by making derogatory and defamatory comments about me, which indeed I will open a formal complaint and proceed legally.
Anyway, I think I will continue to battle this injustice system, even alone, Cafcass is not suitable for purpose. The Court Proceeding need to be faster, as proven, no one is investigating about the alleged behaviour and supply evidences, at least in my case after 9 Court Hearings, very little has been achieved. Who do you think is suffering most? Cafcass with the shortage of Staff? The mother, the father, or the children? So if we talking about Children safety first, the proceeding should not long last years, instead max 6 months; this is achievable.
@bill337 Thank you very much for sharing this link, I was not aware. Thank you. I can see that Cafcass is simple not fit for purpose. This is what I have been reading and currently experiencing. Let's keep finger crossed hoping really something good is going to happen. Thank you again for sharing.
@actd I can understand, and partially I can agree in your fight. But, after years of cases mishandled and 1000s of complains, the government finally decide to investigate and the finding are shocking. Please let me quote a small part of the link @bill337 provided.
"The Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000 stated clearly the role of CAFCASS. First and foremost, it has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children affected by family courts proceedings, yet it is falling far short of the standards required. In 2020, the Ministry of Justice published a damning report on the performance of CAFCASS. The findings were shocking, including failures running deep into every area of the organisation’s work, poor handling of domestic abuse allegations, wilful disregard of children’s voices and an obsessive pro-contact culture that puts unfit parents’ demands ahead of children’s best interests. That was the Government’s own verdict."
These finding were documented in 2020; today in 2023, nothing has changed. Therefor, Cafcass showed incompetency and the incapability to learn from past finding and experiences. These finding are making children at high risks of psychological damage and abuse, and indeed it is not in the best interest of children. How could a family court advisor be called professionals and experts?
Honestly I don't think Cafcass should continue to exist until is properly reformed and made fit for porpoise.
@actd I disagree. The reason they don't/won't post the positive reviews is because they know full well how lucky they were that the cafcass officer supported their deceit to get them a win in court. If they post that, they expose their dishonesty and highlight cafcass's lack of integrity.
When you've been on the receiving end, it is clear to see.
@DT80 - my case was many years ago, but for me the outcome was very positive, but I didn't post positive reviews simply because I was concentrating on other things. There was certainly no deceipt on my part, my ex was an alcoholic who neglected the children, and with the help of the police and cafcass, they were taken away from her. My ex let everyone who would listen know that everyone except her lied (including the alcohol tests etc, police evidence etc).
I have no doubt that CAFCASS do get it wrong on a lot of occasions, but if tomorrow CAFCASS was closed down - then what, it would need something to replace it. This is why I am against closing it - but agree totally that it needs reforming. And @FAB that report is shocking, but again, a lot of the issues are that CAFCASS are massively overworked and underfunded - so while the government may criticise the work, they don't put in the funds to make the system better, and that is, at least in part, what is needed.
So bottom line is that I agree it isn't fit for purpose, but instead of scrapping it (and coming up with a hastily concocted ill-conceived replacement), it needs the government to actually put in place the means to make it better.
@fab am not sure if your aware but there has been major overhaul to the domestic abuse laws in 2020/21. Please see for more info: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-abuse-bill-2020-factsheets/domestic-abuse-bill-2020-overarching-factsheet
I have been involved with a lot of dads going through the system lately, and majority would disagree that CAFCASS are pro-contact. Because of the reforms, dads are having a much harder time trying to get contact with their kids. It's very common now for a dad to go 12 months+ without seeing kids, while going through the courts, because they are investigating domestic abuse allegations. More safeguards have been put in place, but unfortunately some parents can suffer a great deal especially if they have not committed any abuse. I was fortunate to go through the system initially 2019 and was easier to gain contact with my kids back then. CAFCASS are now much more risk averse.
In my experience Cafcass are not fit for purpose however I do agree that it is not an option to close them down as surely even they are useful in instances where abuse is real and genuinely abused children and parents require protection. History will show however that the current system fills me with disgust. People (I would guess mostly women) without a hint of integrity raise false allegations and the Cafcass officers simply go the easy route and prevent / reduce access for fathers. These women get legal aid and use the system to abuse decent men. The women's failings are ignored and the men are demonised.
My own experience is one of false allegations towards me and emotional abuse of the children by the mother. I believe she has coached our children for the cafcass interviews and if your ex can make the children lie then you lose. It's as simple as that. The interview did not bear any resemblance to reality. Details were vague and generic and I was painted out to be a monster. You would have to experience it to believe it. All of her failings often significant were omitted/ignored and my behaviour would be twisted to give a negative slant. It was clearly far from impartial. The system is unfit for purpose