Cafcass launches new telephone service for children and young people to share feedback
Cafcass has launched a new dedicated telephone line for children and young people to share their feedback about the help and support they have had during their family court proceedings.
The ‘Hear to Listen’ service will give children the opportunity to share their views about how well we supported them, how effectively we listened and understood what life is like for them, and how that understanding influenced what the Family Court Adviser recommended in their report to the court. We want to hear whether children understood our thinking, whether they felt able to influence proceedings about them and what we could have done differently and better. Our hope is that children will want to share their honest feedback with us in the comfortable space that is our ‘Hear to Listen’ phone line.
The phone number for the service is 0330 403 0300.
Cafcass has worked closely with the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) to help develop an accessible and reassuring opportunity to learn from children’s experiences of us.
Children can use the telephone line to contact Cafcass, during or after their proceedings to provide feedback. If the proceedings remain live at the point we are contacted, the call will be directed to their Family Court Adviser who will contact them directly to answer any question and/or to explain what is happening at that time.
The new telephone line does not change the process or opportunity for children to complain which remains as set out on our website. We welcome and prioritise children’s complaints. They are contacted within one working day if they complain and we expect to resolve their difficulties within ten working days.
Cafcass Chief Executive, Jacky Tiotto, said:
“Hearing feedback from children about how they experience our help and support is one of the most important things for us to prioritise.
We are working harder to develop as many opportunities as we can to enable children to explain to us what makes the most positive difference to them through their court proceedings. Our responsibilities include, understanding what life is like for them, whether they are safe, and what is in their best future interests. Our analysis of what they and their families say to us informs our recommendations to the family court. Children’s feedback about how well we do this and what needs to improve offers us an unmissable chance to develop the best help and support we can offer.
The new ‘Hear to Listen’ service is a really exciting development in making it easier for children to share their views. It is my sincere hope that this becomes a well-used new resource for children and for Cafcass. Thank you already to everyone who is going to call us!
Initially, lines for this service will be open from 9am – 5pm (Monday to Thursday), and 9am – 4:30pm (Fridays). Cafcass will review demand for the service and whether children would like the phones to be available at other times such as evenings and weekends.