The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service – Cafcass – has been rated ‘outstanding’ by government inspectorate Ofsted.
Ofsted praised the service, which intervenes in court cases concerning children, for “listening to children, understanding their world and acting on their views” and for its “exceptional [and] aspirational” leadership.
At its previous inspection in 2014, Community Care reports, Cafcass received only a middle-of-the-road ‘good’ rating, and just five years prior to that, it was given a damning ‘inadequate’ assessment by Ofsted, which is responsible for auditing all organisations which work with children. In 2010 the parliamentary Public Affairs Committee still believed Cafcass was not fit for purpose.
Chief Executive Anthony Douglas said the newly won glowing assessment was the culmination of years of effort by the service.
“There was no big bang, it was relentless hard work, and progressively, just dispensing with sideshows and getting on with the core business.”
He added that Cafcass had “reframed most of what we do in terms of impact upon children.”