I want to give feedback or make a complaint
We welcome feedback on our services, please complete the feedback forms to help us understand your experience to help us improve our services.
If we are currently working with you or have just completed our work with you, you will find a feedback link and QR code in welcome /introduction or goodbye letters we have sent you. These links can be used to provide feedback on our services.
If you haven’t received one of these letters, please use one of the forms below.
Although we try hard to provide high quality services to children and their families, we know that sometimes you might be unhappy with the way we have worked with you. If you are unhappy, please tell your Cafcass worker or their manager as soon as possible so that they can quickly understand your concerns and try to put things right.
Why complaints matter
- We want to know if something has gone wrong, so that we can put things right as quickly as possible.
- Hearing from you helps us to understand how you are affected by the way we work, and the impact of this on you and your family.
- We need to understand this to make improvements to how we work with you, and future families.
Please tell us if something has gone wrong.
If you feel comfortable doing so, tell the Cafcass officer as soon as you feel something has gone wrong or you have a concern about our work. The Cafcass officer may be best placed to put things right quickly. To avoid confusion, it might be best to put your concern in writing.
Most problems can be put right by the Cafcass officer, but we know that you may prefer to speak to someone independent of your court proceedings. If so, you can contact our complaints and correspondence team.
- You can do this securely by using our contact us form. Or by writing to Cafcass PO Box 5076, Slough, SL1 0RX or phoning 0300 456 4000.
You can work with someone you trust to submit your complaint, or they could contact us on your behalf
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman – the organisation that makes final decisions on Cafcass complaints – has some tips on making a complaint about UK government services that you may find helpful when sharing your complaint with us.
What if you don't want to raise a complaint?
If you want to give us feedback on our work with you, rather than make a complaint, you can do this using our feedback forms above. You can do this anonymously if you wish. We will record and learn from your feedback, using this to help us improve our services, but we will not contact you about it further.
|We can look into complaints where you think we have:||This means you might have experienced us:|
|Made administrative mistakes||Taking longer than we said we would to do something|
Failing to attend a meeting or court hearing
Not capturing factual information accurately in documentation or reports to court, such as a name or date of birth.
Doing something that has caused a delay in the court proceedings
Not doing something that we said we would do
|Behaved in an unprofessional way||Being rude, intimidating or disrespectful in person, on the phone, or by email|
Not listening to you, or not responding to you or your child’s concerns
Not explaining what is going to happen and what is needed from you
Displaying bias or stereotyping
Doing things at short-notice or asking you to do something at short-notice
|Not followed our policies or standards||Failing to protect your personal information|
Not meeting with your child as part of our work, or not meeting with them in a safe and child friendly environment
Overlooking safeguarding issues that put you or your children at risk of harm
Showing a lack of understanding or disregard of the impact of domestic abuse and trauma on families
Not responding to your freedom of information or subject access request within our stated timeframes
Not following our Together values
|We can’t look into complaints that are:||Why, and what you need to do instead:|
|Challenges to our assessments or recommendations to court||As the Cafcass report is evidence within the court proceedings, any challenges to the content (other than purely factual errors) must be made through the court process. This makes sure that the judge, and other people involved, are aware of any disagreements. If you disagree with the recommendations in a report, make sure the judge knows.|
|Challenges to decisions made within the court proceedings, including judicial decisions and court orders||If you think a judge’s decision was incorrect you may want to seek legal advice on the options available to you. Our resources page includes sources of independent legal information and advice.|
|Complaints about how a court order is working for your family.|
If Cafcass is still working with your family, tell the Cafcass officer if there are any problems with how the court order is working for your children.
If our work with your family has ended, you may wish to seek independent advice on the options available to you if you are unhappy with the court order. Our resources page includes sources of independent legal information and advice.
|Complaints about other professionals such as judges, local authority social workers, solicitors, or experts appointed by the family court||If you make a complaint about another professional, we will provide information about the appropriate route for this when we acknowledge your correspondence.|
What to expect if you raise a complaint with us
Within two working days of receiving your complaint we will contact you to offer a discussion about your concerns and how to take things forward.
This conversation will include our likely timeframe for responding to your complaint. If we think that an early resolution of your complaint is possible, we will try to complete this within one week. If we feel your complaint needs a closer look, we will aim to complete an investigation within 20 working days. If we’re delayed for any reason, we will keep you informed.
If you are unable to, or prefer not to, speak with us, we can share our initial assessment and next steps with you by email.
We might need to contact you again, as we work through your complaint. We will keep you updated.
If we investigate your complaint, we will send you a written response. For early resolution we will do this by phone or in writing, depending on your preference. We will set out our findings and anything we’re doing to put things right, or to improve things for future families.
We won’t share your complaint with the other parent or others involved in the court proceedings.
At the end of our work we will explain how to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you are not happy with how we have responded.