We publish as much information as possible to ensure it is readily available to the public to show who we are, what we do, and how we do it. This is called ‘transparency information’ or a Publication Scheme.
Who we are and what we do
- About Cafcass
- Contact information
- Our management
- Code of Conduct for Cafcass Board members
- Guidance for Board members and staff, whose portfolio includes work in or for other organisations
- Board minutes and reports
- Cafcass Governance Handbook: this shows the core elements of the Governance Framework and how they interact with one another. It also brings together Cafcass’ key governance documentation in one easily accessible place, including:
- Standing Orders
- Cafcass regulation 2005 - statutory instrument
- Scheme of Reservations and Delegations. Annex 1 of this document can be seen here:
- Terms of Reference for the Cafcass Performance and Quality Committee
- Terms of Reference for the Cafcass People Committee
What we spend and how we spend it
- Financial statements: the Annual Report and Accounts contains an audited financial statement which sets out Cafcass’ end of year income and expenditure, balance sheet and related information. Financial reports can be found in our Board reports.
- Monthly spend information: this shows monthly financial spend over £25,000, excluding transactions which are exempt for contractual or data protection reasons.
- Procurement: this shows how we buy things and what our current contracts are.
- Gifts and entertaining policy: this sets out how Cafcass complies with government accounting and Treasury rules when receiving or providing gifts and/or entertaining.
- Anti - Fraud policy and Fraud policy: appendix 1 – guidance for staff and Cafcass policy.
- Invoice standards – guidance for staff on the minimum standard required when completing and processing invoices.
What our priorities are and how we are doing?
Our priorities are set out in strategic plans, which describe our commitments and aspirations for our service delivery to children and families, and for our staff.
We report on our performance annually to Parliament through annual reports. Other reports also show how we are doing, such as the Chief Executive’s reports to the Cafcass Board, and Ofsted’s reports from its inspections.
Trade Unions partnership agreement: this outlines how Cafcass and the Trade Unions will work together to promote effective partnership working on the workforce implications of policy and change programmes.
Our policies and procedures
Operational policies and procedures: these set out the policies all staff must be fully conversant with in the course of their work. Please note that some of the material in this class is derived from documents which we consider to contain exempt information. Typically, information may be withheld if its release would compromise the health and safety of staff or national security.
- Employee relations policy: this policy details Cafcass’ approach to employee relations issues within Cafcass.
- Management of organisational change: this policy sets out how Cafcass develops and manages processes which may result in significant change for individuals/groups of employees.
- Managing attendance policy: this policy sets out Cafcass’ approach to management of attendance, including dealing with absence from work due to sickness and other reasons.
- Health and safety policy: this sets out the Cafcass policy of protecting and promoting the health and safety of our workforce.
- Trade Unions partnership agreement: this sets out Cafcass’ partnership agreement with trade unions.
- Whistleblowing policy
Lists and registers
Research: this shows research reports completed by Cafcass or involving Cafcass staff or data.
Consultation responses: this shows our responses to consultations that relate to our role in the family justice sector, social workers, or the children and families we work with.
Disclosure log: this shows our responses to previous Freedom of Information requests.
Data protection register: this describes in very general terms the personal data which is processed by Cafcass. For current registration details please see the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website: www.ico.org.uk
Contracts: this shows the contracts currently held by Cafcass.
The services we offer
Leaflets: hard copy leaflets available to children and parents outlining Cafcass’ services.
Commissioned services: information on Cafcass’ role relating to a range of services available for families that are separating to help ensure that contact is safe and to help encourage cooperative parenting after separation.
The copyright in the material listed in this Publication Scheme is owned by Cafcass, unless otherwise stated. Copyright protected material cannot be reproduced and used in a manner that would infringe copyright, for example, by making multiple copies and publishing and issuing these copies to the public. However, brief extracts of the material may be reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (sections 29 and 30) for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review and news reporting. Details of the arrangements for reusing Cafcass material can be obtained by contacting us at the above address.
Some of the material in this Scheme is subject to Crown copyright. Copyright protection in certain Crown copyright material has been waived and can be reproduced freely. Categories of material where Crown copyright protection has been waived include: government press notices, legislation, and explanatory notes on the legislation, ministerial speeches, consultation documents, documents featured on official websites (except where expressly indicated otherwise), headline statistics and unpublished public records.
More information about the Publication Scheme
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, all public authorities have been and are obliged to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme specifying: the classes of information that it publishes or intends to publish; the manner in which the information is or is intended to be published; and whether the material is intended to be made available to the public free of charge or on payment.
The purpose of the Publication Scheme is to ensure that a large amount of information is readily available to members of the public, i.e. without the need for specific consideration under the Freedom of Information Act, and to inform the public of the extent of material that is available. By readily available we mean that the information is available on Cafcass’ website, may be purchased from Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO), may be obtained from a public library or will be supplied immediately on receipt of a letter or telephone call to Cafcass. We will aim to provide you with a response to any request for information under the Scheme within 20 working days unless an exemption applies.
In what format is the information available?
Information will be available initially electronically and if requested in hard copy. You can outline your specific request via our website form.
Is there a fee to access this information?
Our aim is to make information requested under the Scheme available free of charge via either electronic means or by hardcopy.
What if you can’t find what you’re looking for?
Cafcass aims to review the Publication Scheme annually as well as updating the Scheme on a regular basis. The information may also be available under our Disclosure log, which provides previous responses to Freedom of Information requests.
If you still cannot find what you are looking for, please contact the Cafcass Freedom of Information Officer responsible for maintaining the Publication Scheme and make a Freedom of Information request. You can do this via our website form.
Some exemptions may apply: The Cafcass Publication Scheme lists information that we either have made a commitment to make available, or are required to do so, except where we consider release would cause significant harm. We must also comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation and respect the privacy of individuals. In some instances you will find documents made available under this Publication Scheme will have gaps in the text. This is because the information would cause significant harm if released and falls within an exemption. Where this is the case the document will be clearly marked to show where the information has been removed and the exemption used.
If you have any queries or concerns about the use of an exemption, please contact the Governance team at [email protected].