Putting children and young people first in the family courts


Information for Professionals

The following information may be of use to those working with children and young people, or carrying out research, within the family justice system.

  • For judges and magistrates

    Click on the link below to access Cafcass' Revised PLO guidance and case analysis template, and other resources for judges, magistrates and court staff.

  • Private law cases

    Private law is generally used to refer to applications made following a divorce or separation, such as where a child will live (residence) or with whom a child will spend time (contact). 

    Click on the link below to find out more about the type of work Cafcass does with children and for the court in private law cases.

  • Public law cases

    Public law is generally used to refer to applications brought to keep a child safe. This means cases about emergency protection, care and supervision, secure accommodation and matters like that.

    Click on the link below to find out more about the type of work Cafcass does with children and for the court in public law cases.

  • Adoption cases

    The work Cafcass carries out in adoption cases depends on the way in which the application for adoption has come about.

    Click on the link to find out more about the work Cafcass does in adoption cases.

  • Legislation

    Copies of statutes (including the Children Act 1989) and statutory instruments (including the Family Proceedings Rules 1991) from 1988 are available at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/.

    Note: However this website does not update legislation when, as quite often happens, it is changed by later legislation.

  • Children and the law

    Neither Cafcass nor its officers can provide legal advice except where, through Cafcass Legal Services, it has been appointed to be a child’s legal representative. In particular, the pages in this part of the Cafcass website do not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for it.

    Legal advice may be available from a Citizen’s Advice Bureau or from a solicitor. Cafcass strongly recommends any solicitor used is experienced in cases about children and is a member of the Law Society Children Panel.

    Find details of local solicitors who are members of the Panel or refer to your local Yellow Pages under ‘Solicitors’.

    Solicitors who are experienced in cases about children are also likely to be a member of either or both of the Solicitors Family Law Association or the Association of Lawyers for Children.

  • Resources for friends and family

    We've pulled together information for friends and family members of those who are considering using, or going through the family courts.

    Click on the link below to access information which may be of use to the people you are working with.

  • Policies and templates for Associate FCAs

    Click on the link below to access the policies and templates for use by self-employed contractors (Associate FCAs)

  • Research in Cafcass

    If you are interested in the research Cafcass has carried out, or would like to carry out some research using information held by Cafcass then click on the link below.

  • Commissioned Services and Contact Activities

    If you provide a contact activity service, family mediation or interpreter service (or require an interpreter to carry out your service) click on the link below.

    Our Service Provider Directory is also available via the link.

  • For journalists

    Please do not contact the press office unless you are a journalist or media professional. For non-media related queries, please refer to the other points of contact on our Contact Us page.

    Press and media queries should be directed to [email protected]
    or 07768796484 (both in and out of hours).

  • Human Rights

    Human rights issues apply to all kinds of cases involving children.

    Click on the link below to find out more about the law in this area.

  • Domestic abuse practice pathway

    The Domestic abuse practice pathway provides practitioners with a structured, focussed and stepped framework for assessing cases where domestic abuse is a predominant feature.


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