This page highlights how we can use data on the children and families with whom we work to support research that influences practice and policy changes in the family justice system. It explains how you can access our data for research purposes.
We are committed to evidence-informed practice based on, among other things, good-quality research. We aim to use our unique position and insight to generate high-impact, timely research to inform our own practice and influence policy across the family justice system.
On this page, you can find information about carrying out research using our data, our research governance procedures, and find links to external research we supported and produced internally.
Using Cafcass data for your research
Any research involving interviews with our staff or the children and families with whom we work with, or using detailed data from our electronic case files, must first be reviewed by the Cafcass Research Advisory Committee.
To obtain approval from Cafcass:
- read the Research Governance Framework - The framework provides information on how we make decisions on research applications. If you are unsure whether your project will meet the criteria set out in the framework, please contact us at the below address before making an application so that we can advise you.
- fill in the Research Application Form; and
- send your application form to [email protected]
The Committee will then assess whether your research is likely to be feasible, is methodologically and ethically sound, and is likely to be beneficial for us, the children and families with whom we work with and the wider family justice system.
Any queries? Please contact [email protected]
Accessing Cafcass data through SAIL
If you are interested in undertaking research and analysis of our electronic case records, you can access an anonymised version of population-level case file data from the SAIL Databank, a world-class external storage facility based in Swansea University that allows secure and anonymous access to our data.
If you are interested in using our data for your research project via SAIL, you will need to:
- visit the SAIL Databank website to discuss your research question and data requirements; and
- review our data fields available in SAIL by looking at our data dictionary on Health Data Gateway.
Any queries? Please contact [email protected].