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
  • analysing information and data about our work from our electronic 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 undertaking research and analysis of our electronic case records, Cafcass has now transferred an anonymised version of its unstructured case file data to the SAIL Databank, a world-class external storage facility based in Swansea University that allows secure and anonymous access to our data. Applicants are encouraged to visit the SAIL Databank website to discuss their research question and the Cafcass electronic data that they are looking to access.

If you are interested in doing research that involves Cafcass staff or the children and families that we work with, you must first obtain approval from the Cafcass Research Advisory Committee.

For your research to be considered, please fill in the research application form after reading the Research Governance Framework. The committee will check if your research is likely to be feasible, as well as beneficial for Cafcass and the children and families we work with.

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]

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