Section 7 report
What goes into a section 7 report?
The Cafcass worker will decide what information they need for the report based on what the court has asked them to look into. This may include talking to children (depending on their age and understanding) about their wishes and feelings and what they would like to happen.
The Cafcass worker will:
- usually talk to your children alone – this may be at a neutral venue such as at their school
- spend time with you and the other party and listen to any concerns you might have.
They may also speak to other people such as family members, teachers and health workers.
The Cafcass worker will not ask your children to make a decision or to choose between you and the other party.
Having made these enquiries the Cafcass worker will write a report advising the court on what they think should happen. In most cases you will be able to see the Cafcass report before the court hearing.
If you are not happy with the section 7 report
If you are unhappy about the report, it is important that you let the court know about your concerns. This ensures the judge is able to consider your concerns when making their decision.
If you think there are any factual inaccuracies, for example incorrect names or dates of birth, you should notify the Cafcass worker who wrote the report or their manager.
What will the court decide?
The court will make the final decision about what should happen to your children after reading the Cafcass worker’s report and listening to what you and other people in the case have said.
The court will:
- pay particular attention to your children’s wishes and feelings – but may not always do what your children want
- make its decision based on what it thinks is best for your children
- set its decision out in a ‘court order’ which you must stick to.
If you are not happy with the court’s decision, you must raise this at court – you cannot make a complaint to us about the court’s decision.
Help and support
Throughout the whole process the Cafcass worker will be able to answer any questions you may have about your case, although they cannot provide legal advice.
You may also wish to get advice from a solicitor or from some of the organisations listed on our finding more help page.
Working with you and your children – our video featuring other parents and Cafcass workers