In children cases the Court may make an order that a Safeguarding Letter be prepared by Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service).
When an application for a Child Arrangements Order is made the Court will notify Cafcass. A Social Worker known as a Family Court Advisor will be appointed.
Cafcass must identify and make the Court aware of any risk and serious welfare concerns e.g. domestic abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect, harassment. Cafcass will carry out checks with the Local Authority and the Police. Cafcass will usually speak to the parties to find out if they have any concerns about the safety and welfare of the child.
Cafcass will send the Safeguarding Letter to the Court before the first Court Hearing. Cafcass will generally also send the Safeguarding Letter to the parties. Cafcass will not send the Safeguarding Letter to the parties if this would put a party or child at risk.
A Cafcass Family Court Adviser may attend the first Court Hearing to advise the Court on the next steps and to assist the parties.
Any letters and reports from Cafcass are confidential and must not be shared.
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Please note the above is for information purposes only and is intended to be a short summary. It should not be treated as a comprehensive guide and should not be acted on without qualified legal advice.