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Ofsted publishes new framework for inspecting Cafcass

Unannounced inspections will treat Cafcass as one organisation

Ofsted has published its new Framework and evaluation schedule for the inspection of services for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).

The framework takes immediate effect and means that, for the first time, Cafcass will be inspected as one national organisation. This makes it unique in Ofsted's remit.

Cafcass is currently sponsored by the Department for Education and has statutory functions (under the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000) in family proceedings where the welfare of children is or may be in question.

Ofsted hopes that concentrating inspection activity on Cafcass as a single organisation will be the most effective way for Ofsted to support continued improvement, enabling Cafcass to respond to inspection findings and learning across the whole organisation.

Ofsted will evaluate the effectiveness of the new national inspection of Cafcass to ensure that future planning in 2014/15 remains the most appropriate means of supporting and challenging Cafcass to be 'good' or better.

The framework document is here.