How We Can Assist
At Stalwart Solicitors we provide family legal advice in all areas of private children matters such as Disclosure of Whereabout Orders to find your children, Parental Responsibility Orders to obtain parental rights and Child Arrangements Orders to have your children live with you or spend time
Contact us today for 30 minutes free advice. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call : +44 (0) 345 222 0452 Website : www.stalwartsolicitors.com
The Court Process
You can make several private Children Act applications at Court. These can include a Disclosure of Whereabouts Order, Parental Responsibility Order or a Child Arrangements Order. Once your Court application has been issued at Court they will set a hearing date for the first Court appointment (First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment). Both parties should attend this initial hearing where it will be decided how to progress the case.
A Cafcass officer is usually appointed to give their opinion to the Court and sometimes both parties are required to draft statements with each of their arguments. Please note, this is not a Final Hearing and no decision will be made with regards to the overall outcome of the case, although it can be a good opportunity to negotiate interim contact with the child whilst the proceedings are ongoing.
Cafcass’s views as to the Court Orders sought by the parties may be requested by the Court in something called a S.7 Report. In order to prepare a S.7 Report Cafcass will need to contact both parents to discuss what they want and why and also speak to the child in a child appropriate way. A S.7 Report will only be prepared if a Court Direction is made in relation to this. The Court will then set down a date for a Final Hearing at which the Judge will make a Final Order to resolve the case. If the parties have reached agreement prior to the Final Hearing, then the Judge will simply be able to seal this agreement to make it legally enforceable.
Who are Cafcass?
Cafcass are Court social workers instructed to assist the Court in recommending which Court Orders should be made in private and public Court Proceedings. As part of their role they will speak to the parties and the children and recommend what they believe is in the children’s best interests.
Cafcass has launched its relationship-based practice framework called ‘Together with Children and Families’. The framework sets out the importance of working with children and their families, based on developing trusting relationships, where listening, understanding, clear reasoning, respect and integrity are prioritised. The framework is intended to help Cafcass to do its best work with children and families who are involved in private or public law proceedings.
Built on a new suite of values, Together has been developed collaboratively with all Cafcass staff, particularly with Family Court Advisers and with partners such as the Family Justice Young People Board (FJYPB). The FJYPB has helped Cafcass to ensure Together is informed by the voices of children
and young people. They have provided feedback about how Together will improve the experiences of children in family court proceedings, specifically their understanding about Cafcass and recommendations and the opportunity they will have to share their views about those recommendations in reports to the family court. The Together workbook is designed to be used by Cafcass Family Court Advisers to guide their work with children, young people and their families. The workbook demonstrates how materials such as introductory letters, family storyboards and a new style of case planning will help practitioners to strengthen their focus on children's experiences, wishes and feelings. Together with Children and Families is a key priority for Cafcass” Strategic Plan 2019-23. Cafcass Chief Executive Jacky Tiotto said:
“Cafcass works alongside around 142,000 children a year in public and private law proceedings. We represent their experiences, wishes, feelings and hopes for the future to the family courts. Our understanding about their safety and welfare is fundamental to the recommendations we make, which on every occasion are life changing. It is both our privilege and responsibility to serve their very best interests all of the time. Our practice framework Together houses these ambitions and commitments and I hope has the effect of lifting every engagement and outcome for children to the level of the best everywhere.”… “Helping children and families to understand our reasoning, making sure that they feel heard, understood, respected and valued is the very essence of our new practice framework. Everyone here at Cafcass goes the extra mile every day and we are deeply proud of the difference we have continued to make for families over this extraordinary last year. The launch of this new framework, developed by our brilliant people, is a serious milestone for us in our constant drive to improve the support we offer to children and families when they are in difficulty. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible – there are so many!”
Call : +44 (0) 345 222 0452
Website : www.stalwartsolicitors.com