Welcome to Cafcass

This page has been designed for parents and carers who are at the start of their family law proceedings. You may already know what the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) does, how we work with children and families at court, and what to expect. However, this page contains all the information you might need to know before your first hearing. We recommend you spend 10-15 minutes reading it, especially if this is your first time at court.

You can find out more about Cafcass throughout the website.

What you need to do as soon as possible

There are some things you can do that will help get us prepared for your case. By law, we need to verify your personal information, like your place of birth and phone number, so we can begin our work. The easiest way for you to do this is click the link below and verify your personal information:

Please can you click here to confirm your details*

*You will need your Cafcass Number, which is in the subject line of the email you received from us that links to this page.

You only need to complete the form once, although you may receive a text reminder to do so at a later date. If you have already completed the form then please ignore this reminder.

What is going to happen after you confirm your details until your first hearing

You will receive a Welcome Letter from Cafcass that tells you when and at what time your telephone interview will take place.

  1. The interview will be an opportunity to speak to your allocated Family Court Adviser about any safeguarding issues in your case.
  2. It’s important you make a note of this is – so you don’t forget!

Ahead of your interview with your Family Court Adviser, you may have some questions about the Cafcass process.

If you would like some further guidance on the process or have questions on what to expect at your Cafcass interview, you can schedule a call with our Business Services Team.

(Please note the Business Services Team can not disclose any information relating to your case and are unable to discuss about any safeguarding issues, this will all take place in your interview.)

Around three days later, you will then complete your telephone interview with your allocated Family Court Adviser.

  1. This call usually lasts 30 minutes – and it’s really important you speak to us, so we can give the best picture of what’s happening to the court.

You might then receive a copy of your safeguarding letter.

  1. This is the letter that your Family Court Adviser will write to tell the court what Cafcass has learnt as a result of completing our safeguarding enquiries.

You will attend your First Hearing.

  1. If you’re not sure when this is taking place, you should contact your local court.

If you are confused about anything, the Cafcass call-centre will be happy to point you in the right direction, please contact them on the following number if you need any help: 0300 456 4000

Frequently asked questions

Top Tips from the Family Justice Young People’s Board

The Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) are a group of over 50 children and young people aged between seven and 25 years old who live across England and Wales. All of our members have either had direct experience of the family justice system or have an interest in children’s rights and the family courts.

You can view the Top Tips for parents and carers here.

Resources that might help you

We have curated some resources that might be helpful for you to look at before your first hearing.

Resources for parents and carers

Divorce and separation


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