Education written question – answered on 4th May 2011.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education

(1) how many (a) fathers and (b) mothers have been denied access to their children as a result of a decision or recommendation from Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in each of the last five years;

(2) how many (a) fathers and (b) mothers have (i) successfully and (ii) unsuccessfully challenged a final decision by Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to prevent access to a child in each of the last five years.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Decisions regarding contact with children are made by the family courts rather than by Cafcass. The court will make a decision within the framework on the Children Act 1989 which requires the court to consider the best interests of the child in each particular case. The court may seek advice from Cafcass or other agencies on an issue but is not bound to follow any recommendations in the report.

Neither the Department for Education nor Cafcass collects information on whether the courts follow the recommendations in Cafcass reports, or on the nature of those recommendations.

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Posted on 7 May 2011 1:05 pm (Report this annotation)

err.. if no-one collects information about the outcome of CAFCASS reports ... why have them? and where is the scrutiny of their effectiveness?