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Cafcass publishes protocols for seeing children and families and using offices during the Covid-19 pandemic

Cafcass has published two new protocols setting out its approach to returning to in-person work with children and families and using Cafcass offices during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The protocol on the service's return to in person work with children and families explains that it will use both remote video technology and in-person visits to speak with children. Since the national lockdown began in March, Cafcass says that it has been able to work effectively with children and their families using remote video and telephone meetings and for some this has been their preferred form of contact with us. The judgement about whether in-person or remote work is in the best interest of the child will be made by the Family Court Adviser who will make sure that the rationale is understood by the child and their family or carer.

Cafcass notes that in many circumstances it is essential for a child to see a Family Court Adviser in-person, so whenever this takes place Cafcass says that it will make sure that care is taken to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the visit. Where a visit is judged to be necessary, a risk assessment will take place in accordance with Government guidance and will be overseen by the line manager for the adviser.

Family Court Advisers will work with the children and families who are to be seen in-person to decide which location is the safest and most appropriate. This may include their home, outside spaces such as parks or one of our offices.

The second protocol explains that Cafcass will start opening 17 of its offices from 27 July so its Family Court Advisers can safely meet with children to understand their needs, wishes and feelings and to enable them to make recommendations to the family court.

For the two protocols, click here and find further links at the foot of the opened page.