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Complaint procedure and accountability

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Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

During a complaint procedure your Customer Service Team has got many responsibilities, including the following (in your words):

"Whether a complaint is in relation to serious concerns about the FCA’s conduct will depend on the nature of the complaint and the individual circumstances of the complaint and the case."
"Customer Service Team to identify the nature of the complaint and the individual circumstances of the complaint and the case."
"The Customer Service Team will contact the complainant via telephone to find out full details of the complaint from the complainant"
"Evidence submitted by a complainant is considered by the Customer Service Team."

Your policy in relation to evidence submitted to you (in your words):

"Cafcass encourages complaints to be made in writing, for clarity and this includes any evidence submitted."
"There is no specific criteria for evidence that will be considered."
But. "Audio recordings made covertly will not be accepted" as "Cafcass would be unable to verify the authenticity of a covert recording submitted as evidence as part of a complaint."

Please clarify the following:

1. Your Customer Service Team has got the power to classify the "nature of complaint" as it pleases, grade the seriousness of the complaint as it pleases and consider the evidence as it pleases. Who are the CST accountable to?

2. How do you make sure that the CST don't this their power and remains fair and objective?
I.e receiving a complaint about a FCA regarding their unfair, discriminative and unprofessional behaviour (which should be a very serious accusation) and the CST plainly says that the complaint is regarding the FCA's professional opinion therefore the complainant has to raise the issue in court.

3. If the Customer Service Team does NOT contact the complainant via telephone to find out full details of the complaint from the complainant would that be a breach of their complaint protocol they have to follow?

4. Who regulates the CST?

5. What training and qualifications do the CST members have?

6. To whom can the public complain about the CST?

7. Do you accept a transcript of or quotes from a covert recording as evidence?

8. If not, why do you differentiate between a transcript of a covert audio recordings and other written quotes that the complainant uses as evidence? If anything, the transcript of a covert audio recording is easier to verify whether it is authentic, accurate or complete than any other written evidence, which relies on the complainant and/ or the FCA's memory.

9. Can the complainant write to the Cafcass worker’s line manager directly to complain about the performance or conduct of a Cafcass worker?

Yours faithfully,

Eva nagy

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

Please find my Q2 amended as per below:

2. How do you make sure that the CST don't abuse their power by downgrading complaints or mis-assessing them and they remain fair and objective?
I.e receiving serious concerns about the conduct of a Cafcass officer, which should be referred by the Customer Service Team to the relevant Head of Practice/Assistant Director but instead CST's wrongly concludes that the concerns relate to the officer’s professional judgement and have to be drawn to the attention of the court thus abdicating their own responsibilities?

Yours faithfully,

Eva nagy

Governance, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Nagy,

 

Please accept this as formal acknowledgement of your Freedom of
Information request which was received by Cafcass on 27 October 2018.

 

Your reference number is CAF18-122.

 

We aim to respond to your promptly, and at the latest 20 working days from
receipt of your request. You will therefore receive a response on or
before 23 November 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 Ms Nagy,

 

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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