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Cafcass presses for domestic violence changes

Cafcass has called for changes to the way Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes (DVPPs) are run.

As the name suggests, these are aimed at individuals who have admitted abusive behaviour towards other family members. Designed to help them change their behaviour, they are delivered via the family courts in private cases and aimed solely at men.

If children are involved, Cafcass may be tasked by judges with referring an individual to a local service delivering the programme in their area, and then assessing their progress. However, if such a referral is included in a final order made in relation to a case, Cafcass is unable to monitor the man’s success or failure on the programme because the organisation has no further involvement in cases after a final order has been made.

This means they will be unable to report to the courts on that particular DVPP and any problems encountered if the family later returns to the courts. This situation can also conflict with a requirement on Cafcass to actively monitor the delivery of DVPPs by local agencies.

In a currently circulating letter, the organisation has therefore suggested that family courts specifically order Cafcass to remain involved when referrals are made as part of final orders. If the father has successfully completed the programme this fact can be included in longer term planning for the child or children’s welfare.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Stitchedup says:

    The elephant in the room her is that DVPPs are only targeted at Men. How can men have any level of confidence that CAFCASS do not have a gender bias???? How can CAFCASS be relied upon to give fair and unbiased recommendations in family courts???…. the gender bias is laid bare here for all to see!!

    • JamesB says:

      Perhaps there is a typo in the above article and it should read

      ‘If the father or mother has successfully completed’, rather than just father. That said, knowing Cafcass they probably don’t think women do that sort of thing as they tend to think the sun shines from their backsides and I regret the day I gave Cafcass a second chance after failing miserably to understand the first time even the basic details,with my case. They were as you say appallingly gender biased as indicated by this probably not being a typo.

      • JamesB says:

        The first time I concluded our affairs and said no to them observing me and children after the ‘officer’ was an hour late, had wrong file, did no preparation then proceeded to read other sides nonsense about me being an abuser and started to accuse me of things I hadn’t done and asked me pretty much have you stopped beating your wife and children?@ to which I pretty much drew an end to the proceedings. Ridiculous. I went back after they gave me a second officer who also was rubbish and pretty much said and did nothing but say to Judge give what the woman says as she is upset provided it has some time in holidays and every other weekend. Which seems to be the norm where there is no agreement and does make me wonder about these so called ‘experts’ as I do not think they have a clue what they are talking about.

        I mentioned parental alienation to them and they said “I think I have heard that term mentioned before somewhere but I can’t remember where.” Also, in court not questioning a QC or judge with their knowledge and expertise with what they saw with their own eyes was out of order. For a year they saw me pick up and drop down the children yet in court it was proved I was unreliable because I couldn’t make the hearing and the cafcass officer said nothing, complete waste of air these people.

  2. JamesB says:

    I need to stop writing about cafcass as it still winds me up the subject they were so bad. Also the disregarding of the good that the children said about me and highlighting of the bad was ridiculous and the undermining of one of my children saying that she was happy with contact (apparently she hadn’t thought it through properly) and exaggerating of what one of my children said to support their case in reducing contact (because child didn’t keep a diary on it). All because woman was proposing reducing contact but some contact and court will not enforce contact when that is the case, the rest was made up overpriced experts making up nonsense to fit that answer as in that circumstance contact orders are not enforceable, was and is a farce. Perhaps these or other people such as social workers do better with adoptions and fostering or orphanages etc but with contested contact I found them to be and believe they are completely useless.

  3. AI says:

    My ex lied through her teeth, even told the Cafcass officer that her car had been done over to try and avoid bringing my daughter to contact. Turned up with her boyfriend to drop my daughter to supervised contact and he was shouting to MY DAUGHTER babe you’ve forgotten your coat. She met the guy who was from away on an internet dating site and he could be round my daughter but I couldn’t. My daughter wanted to keep seeing me but Cafcass had enough of the nightmare situation that my ex had created and recommended no contact. They don’t have a clue what goes on and how manipulative the mothers are with everything. Its a disgraceful situation of discrimination!!!

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