Putting children and young people first in the family courts


About Cafcass


Cafcass represents children in family court cases. We make sure that children's voices are heard and decisions are taken in their best interests.

We are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.

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


Our work with children and families

Cafcass may be asked by the court to work with families in three main areas:


Corporate information


Organisational material




We operate within the law set by Parliament and under the rules and directions of the family courts. Our role is to:

    • safeguard and promote the welfare of children

    • give advice to the family courts

    • make provision for children to be represented

  • provide information, advice and support to children and their families.

What young people have to say


Find out how Cafcass helped Michael when he moved to a foster home and what we did to support Ellie when her mum and dad separated.




Cafcass was set up on 1st April 2001 under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act, which brought together the family court services previously provided by the Family Court Welfare Service, the Guardian ad Litem Service and the Children’s Division of the Official Solicitor’s Office.

We are a non-departmental public body accountable to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). We work within the strategic objectives agreed by our sponsor department and contribute to wider government objectives relating to children.

We are the largest employer of social workers in England.




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