In some cases, particularly where there is a concern about whether or not it is safe for contact to take place, an officer from CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisors and Support Service) or a Social Worker will investigate the situation and prepare a report.
This report considers what arrangements, in their professional opinion, would be in the best interests of the child involved.
We can advise you as to whether a CAFCASS Officer or a Social Worker is likely to be asked to prepare a report in your case. Normally, if a report is required it will be completed by a CAFCASS Officer unless Social Services are already involved or there is a concern that Social Services should be considering taking proceedings themselves.
At the very least a CAFCASS Officer will always conduct background checks with the police and social services on both parents in a case which is brought to Court. These are often referred to as ‘safeguarding’ checks and are usually done before the first hearing, apart form urgent cases, so that the judge can think about whether a more detailed report is needed.
You can find out more about CAFCASS on their website: www.cafcass.gov.uk. If you need more information, our Child Law Solicitors are happy to discuss your situation.