Cafcass Cymru welcomes the opportunity to be part of a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) led initiative in North Wales aimed at improving the experience and outcomes of separated families and their children.
Cafcass Cymru welcomes the opportunity to be part of a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) led initiative in North Wales aimed at improving the experience and outcomes of separated families and their children in the Family Court. Working with other key agencies including the Judiciary, domestic abuse support services, local authorities and HM Courts and Tribunal Service, the pilot will test out new approaches to helping families who are separated and who come to court to agree arrangements for their children.
The Pilot will implement recommendations from the Ministry of Justice’s Expert Harm Panel in the Family Courts and from the President of the Family Division’s Private Law Working Group. It will cover all Child Arrangement applications and other specific private law proceedings and aims to:
- Co-ordinate the response of all agencies involved in the family court proceedings to better meet the needs of children and their families.
- Introduce a problem-solving approach that places the child at the centre at all stages of the court process.
- Provide better support and safer outcomes for children and adults affected by domestic abuse.
- Reduce the number of times final orders break down or families return to court by ensuring the court process is more effective in meeting their needs when they first apply to court.
- Reduce the length of time court proceedings take to prevent the negative impact that this may have on families.
The new approach is also being piloted in Dorset in England and will last for two years during which time it will be reviewed to understand whether the new approach improves outcomes for children and families.
Cafcass Cymru Chief Executive, Nigel Brown said:
“I am delighted that Ministry of Justice have agreed to pilot this exciting new approach in Wales, noting it will also be piloted in Dorset, England. The pilot will test out new ways of working and will place the safety of the child first whilst seeking to reduce the number of court hearings before a final decision is made by the court. Cafcass Cymru is passionately committed to playing our part in making this pilot a success and helping to place children and their families at the centre of this approach.”