Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. They put children’s needs, wishes and feelings first, to ensure 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, they are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.

Their duty is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children going through the family justice system. Their experienced Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what they 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. 

For more information about the work of Cafcass please visit their website