Subject Access Requests
- You have a statutory right to access personal information that is being held about you by an organisation.
- This means you have the right to get a copy of the information that is held by Cafcass about you. This is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR).
- Please see our Subject Access Request factsheet and the questions below for more information about what this is and how to make a SAR.
- To understand how we use your personal information, please see our Privacy Notice.
You are entitled to know whether we hold any of your personal information, and, if so, when you make a Subject Access Request, you will be:
- given a description of the information that we hold;
- told for what purposes the information is held and processed by us; and
- told to whom the information has been, or may be, disclosed.
However, not all personal information is covered within these rights, and there are exemptions which may mean that we are unable to comply with your SAR in certain circumstances. For more information about these exemptions, please see our Subject Access Request factsheet and Subject Access Request policy.
We must deal with your SAR promptly and within one calendar month of receipt of your request and the necessary documentation (see below). If the deadline date falls on a bank holiday or weekend, the information will be provided by the next working day.
If we need more time to fulfil your SAR, we will let you know as soon as possible.
You can make a Subject Access Request via one of the following methods:
- By completing our website contact form
- By post at the following address: Customer Services Team – SAR, Cafcass, National Business Centre, Milburn Hill Road, University of Warwick Science Park, Coventry CV4 7JJ.
- By telephone on 0300 456 4000.
- In person at the above address (any request made verbally will be passed to the Customer Service Team).
We need some information and other items in order to process your SAR, and the Customer Service Team will contact you to ask for:
- your name and any other references to help locate your information (e.g. case number or court reference);
- proof of ID: this needs a signature and photo (e.g. driver’s licence, passport); and
- proof of residence: this needs a name and address (e.g. a recent utility bill, or official letter).
However, if we have previously corresponded with you and your contact details are unchanged and verified, then we are able to exercise discretion when requesting proof of identity in certain circumstances.
We respond to Subject Access Requests free of charge and you will not have to pay a fee.
Please note that for security and efficiency, we will respond to your Subject Access Request electronically via secure email (Egress), unless you request a postal response.
Please see our Egress webpage for more information about our use of secure email.
Information about children may be released to anyone with Parental Responsibility for that child. However, we will always consider what is in the best interests of the child when considering if and how to respond. Even if a child is young, their information still belongs to them, and it is the child who has the right to access their information.
When we consider a child to be mature enough to understand their right to see their personal information, a parent will not be able to request the information on their behalf. We will notify the parent that we will only respond to the request if the child makes it themselves. A 12-year old is generally considered to be able to make a request themselves.
If you are not satisfied with the response to your SAR, you can make an appeal in writing to our Customer Feedback Team.
It is helpful if you detail exactly what you are not satisfied with, and if there is any particular information you had expected to receive.
A member of the Customer Feedback team, who was not party to the original response, will review the response previously sent to you, and will respond within 20 working days of receiving the request.
You can also complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office: www.ico.org.uk.