Cafcass

Justice written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon Conservative, Newbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how many complaints have been made against the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in the last three years; and how many such complaints have been upheld;

(2) how many complaints have been (a) made and (b) upheld against the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in the last three years.

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The following table sets out the number of complaints received by CAFCASS in each of the last three years:

Financial year Number of complaints
2011-12 1,264
2012-13 1,496
2013-14 1,596

In 2012 CAFCASS simplified their complaints process, reducing the number of stages involved from three to one and ending the classification of complaints as ‘upheld’. Figures for the number of upheld complaints during this period do not, therefore, exist. The focus of the complaints system is now on putting things right for service users while their case is ongoing so that any necessary remedial action can be taken.

The rising trend shown by the figures is, in part, a reflection of the increase in the volume of cases which CAFCASS dealt with during this period. However, the main factors which have contributed to the rising trend are CAFCASS’ focus on raising awareness of the complaints process for service users.

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