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  • Jackie Murphy: Chair
  • Paul Apreda (PA): FNF Both Parents Matter Cymru
  • Angelina Arno (AA): CAIS Ltd
  • Catrin Cracroft (CC): Law Society representative
  • Beth Flowers (BF): Office of Children’s Commissioner for Wales
  • Gareth Jenkins (GJ): ADSS Cymru
  • Sara Kirkpatrick (SK): Welsh Women’s Aid
  • Sharon Lovell (SL): National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) Cymru
  • Des Mannion (DM): NSPCC Cymru
  • Donna Mulhern (DMu): HMCTS
  • Judge Helen Mifflin (HHJ M): Judiciary
  • Sean O’Neill (SO): Children in Wales
  • Dan Ronson (DR): Family Mediation Council
  • Nigel Brown (NB): Cafcass Cymru
  • Matthew Pinnell (MP): Cafcass Cymru
  • Rhianon James (RJ): Cafcass Cymru (Secretariat)

1. Welcome and Introductions

The Chair welcomed everybody to the meeting and gave a warm welcome to Donna Mulhern, Caroline Rawson and Angelina Arno who had recently joined the Committee.

Apologies were received from:

  • Sarah Coldrick: Association of Fostering and Adoption (AFA) Cynru
  • Sarah Durrant: TGP
  • HHJ Mifflin: Judiciary
  • Zoe Richards: Learning Disability Wales

2. Minutes of meeting held on 3 November 2021 – sign off prior to publication on Cafcass Cymru website

There was one change to note. Under item 5, PA asked if we could note that ‘PA also queried if Cafcass Cymru records conversations. MP confirmed that the organisation does not record any of the platform discussions with children and families”. This sentence will be added to the minutes. In addition, with reference to Item 8, NB informed members that Cafcass Cymru Annual Report 2019-2020 had been published in January.   

3. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

Tenure of Chair

NB stated that it had been four years since JM was appointed Chair of the Committee. Following a discussion with JM and in line with the Terms of Reference, it had been agreed to extend her role for a further four years. NB thanked JM for the professional and engaging manner in which she chairs meetings. JM said it had been a pleasure to chair these meetings and was happy to continue for another four years.

Terms of Reference

A revised copy of the updated Terms of Reference had been circulated to members prior to the meeting. The key change is the removal of reference to location of meetings given the use of MS Teams. It was noted that attendance had also increased since meetings were held remotely. The Committee agreed to adopt the revised Terms of Reference.

4. Performance Data February 2021

NB provided an overview of the referrals and performance figures for February 2021. There followed a detailed discussion and NB and MP responded to questions raised by committee members.

PA asked about KPI3 and the delay in filing reports. MP explained that usually the target was only missed by 24 hours due to administrative issues or in cases where practitioners had been unable to make contact with service users. NB added that Cafcass Cymru was trying to reduce the gap between filing date and hearing date and that it has not caused a delay for the progression of the court case.

PA asked whether there was any data that should be shared at the next meeting on the length of time that Courts give Cafcass Cymru to file s7 reports which may evaluate the significance of the 'delay' in filing reports within the overall Private Law system.

Action: MP noted and agreed to address in the next meeting.

5. Update on Covid-19 Temporary Service Delivery Framework and Operational Challenges.

NB informed members that Cafcass Cymru had not made any changes to its Temporary Service Delivery Framework. Practitioners are advised to continue with remote meetings and unless they deem it necessary to have a face-to-face meeting. These arrangements are subject to continued review and will be updated accordingly. 

6. Update on Family Justice, Recovery and Reform

Publication of Public Law Working Group Report

NB stated that the final Public Law Reform Report was published on 1 March and launched on 9 March with over 1,000 people joining the on line event. The report contains recommendation for change, best practice guidance for professionals working in the family justice system and “Top Tips” for working with children and young people developed by members of Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB). Training events at a national and local level are being organised and Cafcass Cymru will be facilitating workshops with family court advisers.

Private Law Reform  

MP provided an update of the work of the Private Law Working group, which is informed by both the PLWG Report (published June 2020) and the report on “Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases”.

MP stated that North Wales had been identified in Wales for a Pathfinder Pilot to test out new ways of working in respect of private law work. The ambition of the pilot is to develop a model that addresses the recommendations set out in the two reports mentioned above. More information will be available at future meetings.

7. Welsh Government Funded FDAC Pilot – Gareth Jenkins

GJ informed members that Welsh Government had invited applications for the three DFJ areas in Wales to pilot a Welsh Government funded Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC). South East Wales DFJ area was successful in securing the funding to develop and implement a FDAC. The FDAC model involves a multi-disciplinary team aimed at supporting parents to make changes required for them to safely care for their children. Further to an analysis of data, the decision has been made to start the pilot in the Cardiff Court with the view to extending it across the South East Area during the life of the two-year pilot. GJ concluded by saying he will give updates at future Advisory Committee meetings.

The Chair thanked GJ for the update and said she looked forward to receiving the updates.

8. Advocacy Statistics

Sarah Durrant, TGP, was unable to attend the meeting and had sent her apologies.

9. Any Other Business


The Chair informed members that this would be the last time DM would attend Cafcass Cymru Advisory Committee meeting. Tracey Holdsworth will be representing NSPCC at future meetings. The Chair thanked DM for his contribution. She added that she had enjoyed his knowledge, experience and advice over the years and wished him luck for the future. DM thanked the Chair and members of the Committee and said it had been good to end on GJ’s positive update.


AA stated that CAIS Ltd would be merging with Adferiad, WACADA and Hafal and as of 1 April, it would be known as Adferiad Recovery. The Secretariat confirmed she would make the necessary changes to the Terms of Reference.

New Members

NB informed members that he had recently had a conversation with the FJYPB co-ordinator with a view to inviting one of the Board’s members to become a member of Cafcass Cymru Advisory Committee. This proposal was positively received by members of the Committee.

Future Times of Meetings

NB stated that in order to accommodate the young person, the time of the Committee meetings would need to be changed to a start time of around 15:30.

Action: RJ to circulate an e-mail to members to seek their views on the change of time as well as getting members’ thoughts on retaining remote meetings.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was brought to a close.

10. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at 4.00 pm on Tuesday, 29 June 2021

The Chair thanked members of Cafcass Cymru Advisory Committee for their time and valuable contribution to the meeting.

Action sheet

Agenda item number




Item 4 – Performance Data – February 2021


MP to provide update on timeliness of Private Law Reports



Item 9 – Any Other Business – Future Times of Meetings


RJ to circulate e-mail to members to seek their views on the change of time as well their thoughts on retaining remote meetings.