Cafcass Family Forum
The Cafcass Family Forum is comprised of a group of parents, carers and extended family members who have had direct experience of private law or public law proceedings. We set up this group in September 2021 so that the voices of those who have experience of proceedings and of our work can directly influence our improvements in the work we do with children and families. Our intention is for children and families to have a better experience of working with us as a direct result of the feedback we receive from the Cafcass Family Forum.
Cafcass Family Forum members:
provide feedback on our new services for families, our new resources, our new policies and our practice guidance;
share their lived experience and be the voice of families to help us to improve our practice and how we work with children and families;
promote the work of the Cafcass Family Forum at staff training events and conferences; and
attend virtual (via Zoom) meetings every two months and an in-person workshop once a year.
The work of the Family Forum
Cafcass Family Forum members have identified areas of our practice which they would like to influence. These could include providing better resources for families on how they can navigate the family court system, helping families to think about alternative options to family court, co-producing new guidance for our Family Court Advisers and children and families, and contributing to new policies. Below are examples of the Forum’s work: (each section below takes you to the document it is describing).
Cafcass Family Forum top tips
The Family Forum members have devised these top tips for parents who are involved in the family court and for Family Court Advisers on the best way to work with parents. These tips are:
- For separating parents to help them think about how they can minimise the damaging impact of separation and court proceedings on their children.
- For parents involved in public law proceedings (where a local authority has serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child), the top tips focus on providing advice to parents on how they can work positively with Children’s Guardians and other professionals.
- For Children’s Guardians working with parents in public law proceedings, where Family Forum members – based on their own experiences – offer their views on what they consider best practice for Children’s Guardians.
Becoming a member of the Cafcass Family Forum
The Cafcass Family Forum recruit new members every year. Please note only parents and carers who have previous experience of family court proceedings and Cafcass service, and are no longer in family court proceedings, should register their interest to become a Cafcass Family Forum member. To register your interest, complete the form.
The Cafcass Family Forum do not provide individual advice to parents and carers - Please see our information and resources page.