Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.  It was set up in April 2001 under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act and bought together family court services which had previously been supplied by the Family Court Welfare Service, the Guardian ad Litem Service and the Children’s Division of the Official Solicitor’s Office.

Cafcass is accountable to the Secretary of State for Education and works within objectives set out by that department whilst contributing to wider government objectives relating to children.

Cafcass is independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities.  It’s role is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, give advice to the family courts, make provision for children to be represented and provide information, advice or support to children and their families.