Judges - Family Law update - Voice of the Child

M Singh (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

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Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service did not have the information requested.

M Singh (Account suspended)

Dear Her Majesty's Courts Service,

http://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/news/news...

Voice of the Child – Family Law Update above

Quote:

‘It is proposed that a CAFCASS Officer will initially meet with the child involved in the proceedings and attempt to address the child’s needs, wishes and feelings. If, during that process, the child wishes to meet the Judge, then that wish should be conveyed to the Judge where appropriate.’

Please provide policy that will ensure that a CAFCASS Officer will pass onto the child that they can in fact ask to meet the Judge and that their wishes will be conveyed to the Judge.

Please explain the meaning of ‘where appropriate’ is this decision really to be left up to a CAFCASS Officer and not the family who may lose their children forever.

It is quite obvious to a great deal of parents that standards and practices are not up to scratch and in fact a massive overhaul of ‘child services’ is needed, this badly worded suggestion does nothing to convey a transparent honest service that children and their families deserve.

The attached FOI suggests that services are far from this standard and many families are losing their children due to corruption within the system by incompetent workers whom do not attempt to address the child’s needs, wishes and feelings.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/no...

Yours faithfully,

M Singh

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

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Williamson, James, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

Freedom of Information Request FOI/65249/10

Data Access & Compliance Unit
Information Directorate
Zone 6 B
Post point 6.25
102 Petty France
London
SW1H 9AJ

T 020 3334 3251
F 020 3334 2245
E [HMCS request email]

www.justice.gov.uk

21-MAY-10 Our Ref:FOI/65249/10

Dear M Singh,

SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Request

Thank you for your correspondence of May 18, 2010, in which you asked
for the policy relating to judges meeting with children and a
clarification of the meaning of the term 'where appropriate' under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) from the Ministry of Justice
(MoJ).

You will receive a response from us by June 15, 2010. Your request has
been passed to the appropriate business unit within the MoJ, and they
will write to you with their decision by this date.

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Yours sincerely,

James Williamson

(Sent on behalf of Caroline Banjo)
Data Access and Compliance Unit

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Banjo, Caroline, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Dear M. Singh

Please see attached my response to your request.

Kind regards

<<M SINGH (65249).DOC>>

Caroline Banjo

Senior Case Advisor

Data Access & Compliance Unit

Postal Point 6.23, Floor 6,

Zone B, 102 Petty France,

London, SW1H 9AJ

DX: 152380 Westminster 8

* [email address]

th [1]www.justice.gsi.gov.uk

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Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

Dear Mr Singh
Thank you for your email dated 18 May 2010, addressed to Her Majesty's
Court Service, about your concerns regarding the operation of the Children
and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). Your email has
been forwarded to this Department and I have been asked to reply.
The Coalition Government is aware of the challenges Cafcass is currently
facing. Demand for both public and private family law proceedings has
increased sharply in the last 18 months, and remains at high levels. This
is putting pressure on all parts of the family justice system, including
Cafcass.

Cafcass is a Non-Departmental Public Body and the Secretary of State
appoints the Chief Executive to manage the operation of Cafcass and
delegates responsibility for its day-to-day functions to him. It would be
inappropriate for a Minister or official to impinge on the Chief
Executive's responsibility for the operation of the service by becoming
involved in detailed operational matters such as training or management of
staff. Therefore, please can I suggest that, if you have not already done
so, you contact Cafcass directly with your concerns. Their contact
details can be found at
[1]www.cafcass.gov.uk/system_page/contact_us-1.aspx.
If you wish to make a complaint about how Cafcass has handled a particular
case, you should write to the local Service Manager in the first
instance. Cafcass complaints are treated seriously and thoroughly
investigated in accordance with its complaints policy. Their complaints
procedures can be accessed via the Cafcass website at:
[2]www.cafcass.gov.uk, or requested by post. The address to write to is:
Cafcass
6 Mendip House
High Street
Taunton
TA1 3SX
You may be aware that the Family Justice System is currently being
reviewed. The review panel will examine what changes may be needed to the
system as a whole to ensure it best benefits all children and families
involved with family proceedings. An independently-chaired review panel
will report in 2011. To support the review, a public-facing call for
evidence was launched on 30 June, asking for responses on key areas
including how the system is governed, managed, financed and funded; the
best methods to resolve family disputes using alternatives to the legal
process; and how to have a more user-friendly and child-focused system.
Should you wish to participate, the call for evidence questions are
available online at:
[3]http://www.justice.gov.uk/reviews/family..., and you can
submit your response to those questions to the Family Justice Review
Secretariat by emailing: [4][email address].
Please be assured that the Government is working with Cafcass to identify
ways in which it can continue to improve its service within the context of
continuing high demand.
Yours sincerely

Pamela Kearns
Public Communications Unit
[5]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2010/0054992.
To contact the Department for Education, please visit
[6]www.education.gov.uk/contactus

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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References

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1. http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/system_page/co...
2. http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/
3. http://www.justice.gov.uk/reviews/family...
http://www.justice.gov.uk/reviews/family...
4. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.education.gov.uk/
6. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus