The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) is a non-departmental public body, set up to promote the welfare of children and families involved in family court. It was formed in April 2001 under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and is accountable to Parliament through the Ministry of Justice.

What Do Cafcass Do?

Their main duty is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children going through the family justice system.

The Court can order that a Cafcass Officer prepare a report on the issues and make recommendations to the Court about the most appropriate arrangements for the children. These recommendations will have a significant influence on the eventual outcome of the application. It goes without saying that in these cases where parents can’t agree things about children, the Cafcass report’s recommendations may not please both parents.

Can You Change Your Cafcass Officer?

It is important to note that the Cafcass Officer is appointed by the Court and it is not possible to change the Cafcass Officer because you do not agree with the conclusions they have reached.

If you do not agree with the recommendations that the Cafcass Officer has made it is possible to challenge their conclusions in the Court and the judge will give you this opportunity.

Cafcass operate in England, Cafcass Cymru in Wales.

Related Articles

Planning Together For Children (Cafcass)

Planning Together for Children is a course that supports parents to think about the needs of their children first when they are working out how they c...

What Is The Law In Scotland?

There are many issues which separating parents need to bear in mind under Scots’ Law This article will address some of the most common queries W...

Can I Change My Cafcass Officer?

Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service Cafcass is separate from the Court Service itself but provides expertise to ...

What Is The Welfare Checklist?

If you are contemplating divorce or separation from your partner, your first concern will probably be about where your children will live and how they...

What Is A Children’s Guardian And Children’s Solicitor?

What is a Children’s Guardian  The name “Children’s Guardian” is a confusing one It is often confused as a foster carer o...

Can I Get The Judge To Speak Directly With My Children?

Parents in cases involving disputes about children will often feel that it is important that the children’s views are taken into account, rather...

Attending Family Court When Representing Yourself

Attending court can be daunting The idea of representing yourself in court for any reason could be terrifying In the family courts, this is further co...

Help For Victims Of Domestic Abuse In The Family Courts

Embarking on a journey through the Family court is often a stressful and emotional experience The strain will be worse for those who are survivors of ...

The Family Court Without A Lawyer

Navigating the Family Court without a lawyer or representation can feel daunting This article aims to demystify the process and give you some useful p...

What Is A Non-Molestation Order?

For years victims of domestic abuse have suffered in silence and have had limited knowledge of the protection that can be afforded to them by the cour...

What Is A Prohibited Steps Order?

In cases where there is a genuine fear and evidence that someone may take certain action in respect of a child which you would not agree with, you may...

External Resources


This comprehensive website contains a lot of information on Cafcass and its governance as well as useful information and guidance for parents going through the family courts.

Cafcass Cymru

Cafcass Cymru is an organisation in the Welsh Government that provides a voice for any child in Wales that is involved with the Family Justice system.

National Association of Child Contact Centres

The National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) is a registered charity and an umbrella organisation which sets the National Standards to which Child Contact Centres must work. Child Contact Centres are neutral places where children of separated families can enjoy contact with non-resident parents, and sometimes other family members, in a comfortable and safe environment. Every year, this national organisation, via its member centres, supports families and children in their local community.