Court Reporters - CAFCASS
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 1:40 PM
I am unsure what response you want from me by sending this
copy correspondence and making your statement about the Family
Resolutions Pilot. It is also not for me to comment or justify
what either the Minister for Children or the Lord Chancellor
may have said in a press release (as you ask in your previous
I regret very much that this project that should be cause
for optimism and hope has been so misrepresented in the press
and elsewhere and that some appear to want to undermine it.
Even more so, as I understood fathers' groups along with CAFCASS
and many others, wished for the testing of such new alternatives
to formal family proceedings.
CAFCASS people have much experience in assisting parents to
resolve their differences over post-separation parenting,
instead of less satisfactory court imposed arrangements; we
also support mediation services in the work they do. The CASC
report 'Making Contact Work' urged Government to make this
CAFCASS provision universally available to families approaching
courts. In response and with a view to future development,
CAFCASS is keenly supporting this venture that will test a
new and better resourced approach to this work, informed by
work in other jurisdictions, research and experience and will
be independently evaluated. It will be informed by research
on contact, what we know about contact and the nature of contact
disputes, and the needs of children in contact situations.
CAFCASS is strongly committed to ensuring that children and
their needs are at the heart of this project.
Outline proposals for the scheme were prepared for the DCA
and DfES by a group formed early last summer and chaired by
a senior district judge. Members of that group were from research,
CAFCASS, mediation bodies, family therapy, court administration
and child psychiatry. Those proposals were accepted and form
the basis for this pilot project. The further detail of the
scheme is being developed not only by using the experience
of those on the design team but also through contributions
by others who have substantial and relevant expertise.
External Projects Manager