Policies

D Wilson made this Freedom of Information request to Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

Please provide me with a copy of:

1. The staff handbook
2. The finance manual
3. Your induction policy
4. Any list held by cafcass that relates to required training of new starters or document that discusses the issue (including any guidance to managers on training required/available

If any of the above is considered beyond the remit of FOI, please do not simply refuse this application but, rather, provide what you can provide that will assist, bearing in mind your duties to comply and make a genuine attempt to assist me in my enquiries.

If information is not available because if sensitivities, please redact before refusing.

Yours faithfully,

D Wilson

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

Apologies for the second email.

Can you please also provide:

- a copy of any workload allocation tool/s
- a copy of any document, redacted to ensure confidentiality if necessary, relating to workloads of family court advisors, produced by any part of the organisation in he last three years

Yours faithfully,

D Wilson

Governance - Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

1 Attachment

Dear D Wilson,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Please find attached our formal acknowledgement of your Freedom of Information request.

Kind regards,

Governance Team
Cafcass
[CAFCASS request email]

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Dear Governance - Cafcass,

A response to this FOI request is now due.

Please respond without delay.

Yours sincerely,

D Wilson

Governance - Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

Dear Mr. Wilson,

Thank you for your e-mail.

As detailed in our response letter to you on 2nd October, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requires us to respond in a timely manner "and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt".

Given the various documents and information you have requested we have not yet been able to provide you with a response. Please rest assured that your request, along with all the other FOI requests we receive, is being treated with the required importance and we will ensure that we respond to you by 29th October (20 working days since we received your request) or sooner if we have the required information.

Kind regards

Governance Team
Cafcass
[CAFCASS request email]

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Governance - Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

3 Attachments

Dear Mr. Wilson,

Please find attached Cafcass' final response to your Freedom of Information request.

Due to the large size of the attachments we will send you another e-mail with the rest of the attachments shortly.

Kind regards

Governance Team
Cafcass
[CAFCASS request email]

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Governance - Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

6 Attachments

Dear Mr. Wilson,

Please find attached the rest of the documents you have requested.

Kind regards

Governance Team
Cafcass
[CAFCASS request email]

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Dear Governance - Cafcass,

Thank you for providing these documents, that are very helpful.

However, examination of the documents does reveal that Cafcass holds more information than has been released in relation to workloads.

My request was for any document from any part of the organisation relating to workloads of family court advisors in the last three years.

Your document 'FCA and SM Guidance' refers to 'the 2012 workload weighting management tool', yet this document has not been provided.

Please now provide this document and any other document relating to workloads that has been produced by any part of the organisation in the last three years.

Additionally, the 'national WW data' document only references the national position. Presumably, Cafcass also already holds spreadsheets/data split by area and/or office. Please provide this information.

As the requests for this data were initially made on 1 October, and not provided, I would be grateful if you could ensure the remaining documents are now provided without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

D Wilson

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service's handling of my FOI request 'Policies'.

On 1 October 2013, I requested a number of documents from Cafcass. These were:

1. The staff handbook
2. The finance manual
3. Your induction policy
4. Any list held by cafcass that relates to required training of
new starters or document that discusses the issue (including any
guidance to managers on training required/available
5. a copy of any workload allocation tool/s
6. a copy of any document, redacted to ensure confidentiality if
necessary, relating to workloads of family court advisors, produced
by any part of the organisation in the last three years

On 2 October 2013, I received an acknowledgement from Cafcass.

On 21 October 2013, I chased a response from Cafcass and was advised, correctly, by reply on 21 October 2013 that a response was not due until 29 October 2013.

On 29 October 2013, I received a number of documents in return. These satisfied my request for documents 1-4 within the timescales allowed under the Freedom of Information Act and I was grateful for the response.

In relation to points 5-6, however, on analysis of the documents I was able to establish that Cafcass had not met my lawful and reasonable request for any document relating to the workloads of Family Court Advisors that the organisation holds. Additionally, the workload allocation tool request was incomplete.

I requested these documents, again, on 30 October 2013. I have not received an acknowledgement or a response to this request.

I first requested documents on 1 October 2013, which were then not provided by the organisation. It is clear, from the documents that you have provided and other publicly available information (including submissions to parliamentary committees and information on the Cafcass website) that the information I am requesting is held by the organisation.

Additionally, I do not accept that my request are vexatious (this is my first request to Cafcass) nor that these are too costly for Cafcass to obtain (they are held centrally and easily referred to in other documents). For clarity, I requested ANY documents held by ANY part of the organisation relating to ANY issue arising from workloads of Family Court Advisors.

This includes:

1. copies of the workload allocation tool (referred in the document FCA and SM guidance as being available on your intranet - two documents are referenced on the first page 'Workload Weighting measurement tool that is being used from July 1st 2012' and '2012 Workload Weighting points allocation'.) Other documents are also referred to that you clearly hold and which are also requested - including 'workload adjustment guidance' and 'guidance on how to access to the workload weighting report in CMS'. These appear easily available to staff so should not be difficult to provide.

2. a clearer breakdown of FCA workload by office/area which is evidently available from the Excel spreadsheet you sent me referencing the national position.

3. Any other document held by Cafcass relating to the workloads of Family Court Advisors (this could include emails where the issue has been discussed, minutes of meetings at senior levels where workloads have been considered, policy proposals etc.)

I do not believe I could have been clearer about this in my original request, and believe Cafcass has regrettably failed to act in accordance with its statutory obligation to provide this information within 20 working days from 1 October 2013.

I am grateful to Cafcass for providing the information to date, but now request a formal internal review in relation to the outstanding documents and Cafcass' handling of my FOI request as I believe you hold more information than you have disclosed and because I believe you are out of timescales in providing this information, first requested on 1 October 2013.

Under Section 45 of the Code of Practice relating to FOI requests, it is good practice for you to have a complaints policy in relation to FOI. Please instigate this policy now in relation to my complaint. This would include an internal review of the whole request, rather than the original decision, completed within 20 working days by a more senior member of staff.

If this is not completed, or the information you held is not provided without further delay, it would be my intention to refer this matter to the Information Commissioner for their investigation.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

D Wilson

Governance - Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

6 Attachments

Dear Mr. Wilson,

Please find attached Cafcass' response to your previous e-mail, as well as further documents that we trust will satisfy your questions.

Kind regards

Governance Team
Cafcass
[CAFCASS request email]

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