Freedom of Information
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you have a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, unless particular exemptions apply. The Act aims to improve the openness and transparency of public authorities, and Cafcass is committed to complying with this legislation.
Cafcass publishes a lot of information already so that this is readily available. Please see this in our Publication Scheme, which shows who we are, what we do, and how we do it (‘transparency information’), and our Freedom of Information disclosure logs which shows previous responses given by Cafcass to Freedom of Information requests (with personal data of applicants removed). You may find that your question has already been asked by someone else, and therefore you can see the response already published.
Please note: information contained within any documents available below was correct at the time of the response, but may now be out-of-date and no longer correct.
If the information you would like to see is not already published, you can make an FOI request for this. Please see below for details, or see our Freedom of Information factsheet.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 anyone can make a request for information to Cafcass (unless the information falls under one of the specific exemptions in the Act). You have the right to:
- (a) be informed whether Cafcass holds the information specified in your request (unless an exemption applies)
- (b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to you within 20 working days.
A request can be made using the details below, giving your name, email address, the information you would like to access and the method of access (hardcopy or email) via:
- completing our website form
- post: FOI administrator, Cafcass national office, 3rd floor, 21 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3HF
Please note: As a consequence of the advice from Government in response to the Covid 19 pandemic Cafcass no longer receives any post and all requests under the Freedom of Information Act must be made electronically. When the public health advice changes we will then be in a position to accept requests by post.
Information requested is usually free of charge (i.e. there is no charge by Cafcass, although the user would of course have to meet any charges by their internet service provider, personal printing costs, etc). In some cases if a large volume of information is requested in hard copy we may issue a fees notice for disbursement costs (printing and postage). Cafcass reserves the right not to process applications that cost £450 and more, in keeping with central government provisions. This does not impact on the information listed in the Publication Scheme.
- Our policy is to be as open as possible, but we may withhold information if we consider an exemption applies. If we refuse to supply all or part of any information you have asked for we will write to you giving our reasons for refusal. The reasons will be based on the exempted categories under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
If you are unhappy with the way in which your request was handled you can request an internal review. A senior member of staff who was not party to the original decision on whether to release the information will review the manner in which the request was dealt and will either uphold or overturn the original decision.
The Act also provides for an appeal mechanism whereby you may apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether we dealt with a specified request in accordance with the Act. This can be done via [email protected] or Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
Summaries and categories of requests have been added to aid searches for information, although these categories are necessarily broad and may not cover all […]
Summaries and categories of requests have been added to aid searches for information, although these categories are necessarily broad and may not cover all of […]