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Cafcass Recommended Psychiatric Assessments

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David Williamson

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

With regard to Cafcass recommended psychological assessments of parents either at the commencement of or during the course of private law cases, I would be pleased if you could provide me with the following information:

How many Cafcass FCAs are also registered psychiatrists or psychologists?

How many 'professional opinions' given to courts on the need for the psychiatric assessment of parents were there in the calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017?

How many of these opinions related to fathers and how many related to mothers?

Under what policy or procedure is authority granted by Cafcass to any FCA who is not a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist to advise a court that a parent requires such an assessment?

What are the objective criteria being used by an FCA when making the recommendation that the court order a parent to attend a psychiatric assessment?

What training is given to an FCA who is not a qualfied mental health specialist in order to enable such an individual to correctly identify parents for whom a court ordered psychiatric assessment would be in the best interests of children?

What was the total cost of the completed psychiatric assessments for the 3 years in question?

What is the average cost of such an assessment based on the total cost?

How many psychiatrists or psychologists conducted those assessments?

Are review processes in place at Cafcass in order to manage the use of such assessments and assess the value of such assessments or to establish evidence of need in similar cases or to identify any potential profligacy and tendency to over recommend these assessments by any FCA?

For example, if FCA X made an unusually high number of such recommendations in 2015, 2016 and 2017, always to do with a father and never to do with a mother, how would this be picked up and what steps would then be taken to inform the FCA of a possible bias and possible waste of public funds?

Yours faithfully,

David Williamson

Governance, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Williamson,

 

Thank you for your email.

 

Please accept this as a formal acknowledgement of your Freedom of
Information request which was received by Cafcass on 26 July 2018. Your
reference number is CAF18-079.

 

We aim to respond to you promptly, and at the latest 20 working days from
receipt of your request. You will therefore receive a response on or
before 22 August 2018.

 

Kind regards,

 

Governance Team | Cafcass

* [1][CAFCASS request email] | ü [2]www.cafcass.gov.uk 

[3]Cafcass_Logo_2014_email

 

 

 

 

 

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Governance, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Williamson,

 

Thank you for your email. Please find attached our response to your
Freedom of Information request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Governance Team | Cafcass

* [1][CAFCASS request email] | ü [2]www.cafcass.gov.uk 

[3]Cafcass_Logo_2014_email

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cafcass email addresses have changed to end in @cafcass.gov.uk. Please
ensure you update your address book. For more information on this change
please see our  [4]website

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