Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. We put children’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting, and that decisions are made in their best interests. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts, we are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.
Our duty is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children going through the family justice system. Our experienced Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what we consider to be the best interests of the children involved in three main areas:
- divorce and separation, sometimes called ‘private law’, where parents or carers can’t agree on arrangements for their children
- care proceedings, sometimes called ‘public law’, where social services have serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child
- adoption, which can be either public or private law.