Cafcass responds to the President of the Family Division’s Transparency Review findings
In May 2020, Cafcass responded to the President of the Family Division’s Transparency Review ‘call for evidence’ and today welcomes the publication of the review.
Cafcass supports the principle of increasing the public’s understanding of the family court and how it reaches the decisions it makes. We support the need for more transparency about how assessments are carried out and can see that there is a strong requirement for improved data to illustrate outcomes for children and families whose problems are resolved through the family court.
Cafcass also supports the firm commitment to safeguarding the privacy of children and families. Any increase in the transparency of the family court process and decisions must be balanced against what is best for the children and young people going through proceedings. Their experience, wishes and feelings must come first. A child or young person learning about their background through media reporting, or details of their family life becoming known within their community could be potentially harmful. They must have their welfare and their need for privacy respected, particularly as we know that children and young people have expressed a wish for their stories to remain out of the public domain.
We reiterate that we support more transparency as long as the wishes and feelings of children and young people about sensitivity and privacy are respected.