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Child Welfare professionals warn of unacceptable risks arising from time managed Cafcass Policies

Child Welfare professionals warn of unacceptable risks arising from time managed Cafcass Policies

10 April 2018 (Last updated: 1 Sep 2020 16:56)


For immediate release on 10 April 2018

Nagalro and seventeen other professional bodies and individuals have issued a Joint
Position Statement dated 4 April 2018, setting out their concerns arising from a
Cafcass policy document, ‘Guidance on the Use of Professional Time to Benefit
Children’. A copy of the Statement is attached. Signatories include Nagalro, the
Association of Lawyers for Children, the British Association of Social Workers, the
National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers and CoramBAAF, together
with four eminent social work professors and other concerned academics and

The objections arise from a policy document issued by Cafcass in July 2017. The
signatories to the statement call for the document to be withdrawn, or extensively

Prior to the document being circulated to all Cafcass staff, including Family Court
Advisors and Children’s Guardians, there was no consultation with any of the
independent professional social work bodies, whose members have extensive
knowledge and experience about how the welfare and basic human rights of children
should be protected, when they are the subjects of Family Court proceedings.
Amongst other things, the policy seeks to restrict, or ration, the amount of time which
Cafcass staff should spend on individual children’s cases. This, says Nagalro,
conflicts with the duties which Parliament has imposed on Cafcass officers in the
Children Act 1989 and other legislation and suggests that time-rationing policies can
override the needs of individual children.


For further please information contact: Nagalro office on 01372 818504 or

Nagalro is the professional association for Family Court Advisers, Children’s Guardians
and Independent Social Workers. Its members represent the interests of children in a
range of public and private law proceedings. Nagalro members are senior, highly
experienced children and family social workers who work in a variety of roles. Many
work as independent social workers and risk assessors providing expert witness reports
in a wide range of complex cases coming before the family courts; in fostering and
adoption agencies; in independent practice providing therapeutic services; as
academics; as supervisors, mentors and consultants. Members have significant
experience as managers, chairs of Adoption Panels and other specialist social work
practitioner roles.

The Nagalro website is at

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