Research and data



Cafcass is committed to evidence-informed practice based on, among other things, good-quality research. We aim to use our unique position and insight to generate high-impact, timely research to inform our own practice and influence policy across the family justice system.




Our data shows regularly updated statistics on family court cases that we are involved in, showing both national and local trends for:

  • the number of cases where the court has asked Cafcass to carry out work in private law cases (monthly)
  • the number of care order applications made by local authorities (monthly)
  • the length of time taken to complete care and supervision proceedings (quarterly)
  • the rate of care order applications by local authorities (annually).


Media enquiries about the care or private law statistics should be directed to the Communications Team via [email protected] or 07768796484.


Doing research involving Cafcass


There are a number of ways you might want to involve Cafcass in your research, including:

  • interviewing Cafcass staff
  • obtaining information about our work from electronic and paper records
  • contacting children and families who have received Cafcass services to ask if they want to participate in research projects.


If you are interested in doing research that involves Cafcass in any way, including the above, you must first obtain approval from the Cafcass Research Governance Committee. The committee will check if your research is likely to be feasible, as well as beneficial for Cafcass and our service users.


Update October 2019:

Cafcass is currently setting up new research governance arrangements that will enable us to continue to promote family justice research through support provided to approved external applications, contributions to the Family Justice Observatory and our internal programme. We are also preparing to transfer some of our administrative data, duly anonymised, to a third-party data platform that we envisage will act as the first port of call for researchers wishing to make provision of our data.

To focus on these important developments, which we expect to complete by the end of 2019, Cafcass is currently only considering applications that have a national scope, that have the potential to improve substantially the outcomes of children and that will be adversely affected by a delayed start.


For your research to be considered, please fill in the research application form after reading the Research Governance Framework.

The framework provides information on how we make decisions on research applications. If you’re unsure whether your project will meet the criteria set out in the framework, please contact us at the below address before making an application so that we can advise you.

Please send your application form or any queries to [email protected].

Private law data

Private law demand is generally used to refer to applications made following a divorce or separation about the arrangements for children, such as where a […]

External research supported by Cafcass

High quality research can help improve practice and policy within the family court system. If research projects are likely to benefit Cafcass and the children […]

Research carried out by Cafcass

Our research programme aims to increase our knowledge and understanding of issues facing families and professionals within the family justice sector. This helps enable evidence-informed […]

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