Have your say on how Cafcass should be inspected

Have your say on how Cafcass should be inspected

Ofsted are seeking the views from those in the sector on proposals for “a more effective and proportionate approach to inspecting Cafcass”.

If the proposals set out by Ofsted are implemented, it would mean Cafcass inspections would be aligned with the inspections Ofsted carry out with regards to children’s social care.

The proposed new framework will create a ‘whole-system’ approach of shorter inspections, with more regular contact in-between. More frequent engagement will help Ofsted to build a better picture of Cafcass’ practice.

The proposals in the consultation include:

  • a three-yearly national judgement inspection
  • focused visits between judgement inspections, or inclusion in joint targeted area inspections
  • annual sharing of a self-evaluation of frontline practice in both public and private law
  • an annual engagement meeting between Ofsted and the Cafcass chief executive and senior leadership team

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Regulation and Social Care said:

“Cafcass has a hugely important role in providing expert social work advice to the family court. I urge anyone working with children and families in the family justice system to give us their views on these proposals.

“The family courts can be a frightening and confusing experience, so good-quality, thoughtful work with children and families is vital. Our proposals retain all the rigour of previous inspections but will be more proportionate, with a greater focus on organisational culture and direct work with children and families.”

The consultation is available here, and will close on 11 November. The proposed framework would come into effect in February 2021.

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