Category Archives: Cafcass

Organization whom provide the court appointed Guardian on behalf of the child (ren) Government Regulations monitor compliance via Ofsted reporting and th PAC committee, who convene in Parliament

MPs: Child welfare body not fit for purpose after Baby P


[London Evening Standard November 11 2010]

The body responsible for looking after the interests of vulnerable children in the family courts was exposed as “not fit for purpose” in the wake of a large rise in cases following the Baby P tragedy, MPs said today.

Public photo Peter "Baby P" Connolly

'Baby P' suffered unspeakable abuse prior to his death

Children suffered as the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) “failed to get to grips with fundamental weaknesses in its culture, management and performance” following a 34% increase in its caseload, leading to “chaos across the family justice system”.

“These problems have been to the detriment of children”, the report by the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found.

Margaret Hodge, the committee’s chairwoman, said: “Cafcass was ill-prepared for the very large increase in care cases in 2009-10 which followed the Baby Peter tragedy and caused chaos in the family justice system.

“This lack of readiness was a direct result of the organisation’s continued failure to get to grips with the fundamental weaknesses in its culture, management and performance.

“It is still dealing with a legacy of low morale, unacceptably high levels of sickness absence and under-performance by some staff.”

Baby P, now named as Peter Connelly, was 17 months old when he died in Tottenham, north London, at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her violent partner Steven Barker and his brother, Jason Owen, in August 2007.

He suffered more than 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over an eight-month period.

The case prompted a 34% rise in cases for Cafcass in 2009/10, the MPs found, and the body was only able to respond to the demand through the use of measures “which allowed it to do less work or to delay work on cases”.

“Cafcass, as an organisation, is not fit for purpose”, the committee said.

While the specific impact of the Baby Peter tragedy was “hard to predict”, the possibility of a sustained increase in cases “was a scenario that Cafcass should have planned for”.

But “Cafcass did not see the crisis coming, nor did it have a contingency plan in the event of a significant increase in demand”, the committee said.

Cafcass has also taken “too long to secure essential changes, and much of the responsibility lies with top management”.

“It is shocking that Cafcass has not previously collected all the information it needs to manage its workload more effectively,” the committee said.

Low compliance by staff with important requirements was “a persistent problem” which undermined the body’s efforts to improve, the MPs added.

There was also a risk that the number of unallocated cases could return to the “unacceptable levels seen in summer 2009”.

Cafcass was still not providing a timely service, eight out of 10 Cafcass areas failed Ofsted inspections, and the committee “does not share the Department for Education’s confidence that all will be well by 2011”, Mrs Hodge said.

“The failure to provide an effective service cannot be blamed solely on the rise in public care cases since 2008,” she said.

“Top management must demonstrate and exercise strong and vigorous leadership if Cafcass is to meet the challenges it faces.”

The report added: “Cafcass also faces the challenge of dealing with the relentless rise in open cases that is putting pressure on all organisations working in the family justice system.

“Renewed energy and vigour are needed to sort this situation out if Cafcass is to become the world-class organisation it aspires to be.”

Cafcass took an average of 27 days to fully allocate a care case to a family court adviser, down from up to 40 days between September 2009 and June 2010, but “still well above what it should be”, the report found.

It added that data which Cafcass holds on cases centrally “contains inaccuracies”.

And sickness absence was “unacceptably high”, with an average of 11.6 days per staff member in 2009-10 and 16.1 days for family court advisers, compared with the public sector average of 8.3 days in 2009.

Cafcass said it had taken “robust action” to improve the service.

Chief executive Anthony Douglas said: “We will take heed of the PAC findings, and we will continue to defend the interests of the 140,000 children who we work with each year, each of whose cases is unique and many of whose lives we improve as a direct result of our involvement.”

He went on: “Cafcass is fit for purpose because we have absorbed a massive number of new cases in the last 12 months and have improved our productivity by 17%, which is a performance any organisation would be proud of.

“We have improved on every measure considered by the PAC and the National Audit Office, including falling staff sickness, faster filing times of court reports and quicker allocation of cases.”

CAFCASS: From “Not fit for Purpose” to “beyond reform & must be abolished”


Over recent Months I have posted a variety of articles, from News, Media & independent sites, on British Social Care standards.  It might not be shocking to read about the Local Authority and their failings; but  may [or may not] come as a surprise to read that Cafcass, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, has been deemed “beyond reform and must be abolished

It was only November 11, 201 that the London Evening Standard reported PAC findings of Cafcass being “not fit for purpose”  [see the link at the end of myblog] Now, upon a further, more in depth review, the future of Cafcass is no more.

The following article has been taken from a site, for everyone in Social Care, CommunityCare.co.uk.  Camila Pemberton reports on the findings of the most recent deposition, held earlier last week.

Thank you for visiting this page, Michelle “My*Angel” Anthony

* I will be reposting my articles on Cafcass from recent months that are in relation to this matter

Cafcass is ‘beyond reform’ and must be abolished

Reports Camilla Pemberton [CommunityCare.co.uk] Friday 25 March 2011 12:00

Family courts body Cafcass is now “beyond reform” and should be abolished, a committee of MPs was told this week.
Read more below or click on the link at the end of this post for direct access to the original article:

Appearing before the Justice Select Committee, Martha Cover, respresenting the Interdisciplinary Alliance for Children – a group of 18 organisations, including Nagalro and the Association of Lawyers for Children – told MPs: “We have considered the possibility of reform rather than abolition, but we have come to the conclusion that [Cafcass’ inability] to change to meet the concerns of the other partners in the family justice system is such that we simply have to start again.”

Cafass logo

From 'Unfit for Purpose' to 'Beyond Reform'

Cover blamed Cafcass’s “overly centralised service and top heavy, hierarchical managerial structure”, which she claimed does not sufficiently value the independence and autonomy of family court guardians and family court reporters”.

“It is also an extremely expensive model to deliver,” she added, before revealing an alternative model to Cafcass, put forward by the Alliance, which MPs were told could deliver a better service, at reduced costs, by “removing huge layers of management”.

She described the alternative model as high trust professionals working in consortia, of 40 or 50 people, inked to the local care centres.

“We simply do not accept that the various strata of management and indeed the ideology of Cafcass are necessary for these types of professional people.”

She claimed 46% of Cafcass staff, based in local offices, were not frontline practitioners.

MPs questioned Cover on the viability of the new model and the risk of stripping away layers of management, asking her why Cafcass could not be reformed. She replied: “We’ve thought about ‘Cafcass lite’ or ‘the organisation formally known as Cafcass’, but we fear the culture and management ethos is so damaged that [it is not possible].”

The Alliance’s recommendations come just ahead of the Family Justice Review, which is due to publish its interim report next week. There has been widespread speculation about how the Review will impact upon Cafcass’ future.

Anthony Douglas, chief executive of Cafcass, defended the organisation’s performance before the committee. “We deal with 140,000 children every year – about the largest number of children any single organisation is dealing with. This is very difficult work and often child protection work is not done that well…in local authorities or across the board.

“Our performance, compared with a year ago, has improved considerably. One year ago we had over 1,000 unallocated cases…we now have just 7. We are providing a good service to the vast majority of children…we are fit for purpose.”

A Cafcass spokesperson also refuted the Alliance’s claims. “Over 90 per cent of our staff in local offices are frontline staff, delivering a direct service to children and families. Within our existing budget we’ve absorbed a massive increase in cases, with productivity up 12%.”

Cafcass Banner Image

Cafcass actually "cafcan't" after IAC declares them beyond repair

The spokesperson claimed Cafcass had a lean management structure but said the organisation also recognised that practitioners working on complex cases needed access to experienced managers with whom they could discuss cases and get support.

“All agencies, and not just Cafcass continue to be under pressure and we look forward to the recommendations of the Family Justice Review which will be looking at how the system as a whole, and not just the vital work Cafcass undertakes, can be improved for families and their children,” the spokesperson said.

* click on the link below for the original article by Pemberton

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/03/25/116540/mps-told-cafcass-is-beyond-reform-and-must-be-abolished.htm

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Family justice review chair David Norgrove: ‘we can’t go on like this’

BBC News 27/02/2011 Children in care far from home ‘at risk


Gov intends to reduce the number of children sent away

Charities are warning that thousands of children placed in care far from home are more vulnerable to criminality, drug abuse and sexual exploitation.

A third of the 64,000 children in local authority care in England and Wales live outside their local area.

The charities say long-distance placements often traumatise children who are already damaged and vulnerable.

From April, councils are due to be forced to have sufficient accommodation for children in their care.

Thousands of children are currently being looked after in foster or children’s homes hundreds of miles from their local area.

Charities – including Barnardo’s, the Who Cares Trust and Voice – say uprooting an already vulnerable child can be highly traumatic.

Children in care are often deeply damaged from past abuse, neglect, or growing up with addict parents, the charities say.

A shortage of local authority children’s homes stems from child abuse scandals in the 70s and 80s, they say.

Private care homes have cropped up, but often in rural locations where property is cheaper.

Local authorities, which pay the private homes, remain responsible for the children, but social workers can struggle to maintain contact with them if they are accommodated far away.

The government plans to enforce a “sufficiency duty” on local authorities from April.

Intended to cut the number of children being sent away, councils will have to increase care provision for children in their local areas.

 

Social Workers “Arrogant & Enthusiastic Removers of Children”


I’m a survivor too! | Angelawileman’s Blog


Please read the below referenced blog. A true account from a survivor of the Social Service system!

I’m a survivor too! | Angelawileman’s Blog.

 

On Angela’s page, this is filed under the following Catagories & Tags

Filed under Spain women children’s rights Devon social services Leicestershire LyndaMac Suffolk social services family court solicitor Ireland Spain Child protection UK politics law forced adoption

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4 Responses to I’m a survivor too!

  1. Portia

    Great Blog.

    Matri Genocide has been going on for 5,000 yrs as the patriarchal system set about destroying all things natural…Mother Nature…in order to control her.

    A few hundred years ago, you would be labelled a witch for being so strong and daring to speak your truth, now the psycho babblers label females “future emotional abusers”as if they have crystal balls.

    The system ensnares the victim of domestic abuse by propaganda- urging her to come forward to free herself and the children. That is not what the old system wants though, so when the victim comes forward- beaten down, tired, then the agents of the patriarchal state swoop down like vultures to steal the young and kill off the mother.

    These agents are paid predators, who have been brainwashed into believing that they must steal as many babies as possible and destroy as many mothers as possible.

    If the child is not adoptable- too old for the needy adopters, then it is given to the abuser, to add more pain to the mothers heart and soul.

    They know what they do.!!!!!!!!!

    However, Mother Nature always takes back what she gave for free, so shortly the whole truth will emerge, thanks to strong mothers like you and Linda Mac, etc

  2. Hey Angela, it’s about time you blogged your experiences with the UK SS. You have escaped and defeated them and you are someone we can all look up to for defeating the evil UK Social Services,
    Mark n Kerry :)

  3. Andrew

    I’m happy for you, good job ‘breaking the law’, esp when the law is not legitimately in the best interests of anyone, besides those that wish to steal children.

  4. Go for it Angela.

    Social Services are a disgusting bunch of misfits.

    If your are properly outside their clutches and the clutches of the UK courts re contempt of court, then tell it all and post on as many big readership blogs as possible to publicise the story as much as possible.

    This evil system needs destroying.

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