Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)

Policy Scope:

The Policy and its associated procedural instructions affect Disclosure department staff only.

Policy Aims and Objectives:

The 'Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service' (CAFCASS), is a government run service that is independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies. They deal with cases in both public and private law, representing children and young people. See the CAFCASS website for more information.

SYP work with CAFCASS to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people involved in private law cases. It is the job of SYP to provide CAFCASS with the relevant police information so that they may carry out each case effectively and achieve a just outcome.

Constraints on the Use of the Information

1.    Police information will only be used for the purposes of, and preparation for, the current proceedings;

2.    Police information will be kept confidential and will not be communicated to anyone else other than the Court, or in accordance with a direction of the Court;

3.    Copying of the police information will be kept to the absolute minimum to avoid the proliferation of sensitive material.

Associated Procedural Instructions:

This policy is supported by the following procedural instructions:

D51521 - CAFCASS Disclosure

See also:

The Authorised Professional Practice (APP) section entitled Information Management, and other relevant SYP policy documents, such as D51512 Information Management and Compliance.

Equality Act 2010:

The Act creates a statutory requirement for all Functions and Policies (Including Procedural Instructions) to be analysed for their effect on equality, diversity and human rights, with due regard to the General Duty.

In principle, this document has been assessed for discrimination, which cannot be justified, among other diverse groups.

Human Rights/Discretion:

The purpose of providing policy is to give an indication to staff of the expected course of action.  However it is not possible to cater for every possible combination of factors that would justify a departure from stated policy.  The Human Rights Act 1998 requires the proper use of discretion at all times and nothing within this policy and associated procedural instructions prohibits the proper use of discretion in appropriate circumstances.

Where action is taken that has the potential to interfere with an individual's Human Rights, the reasons behind the making of the decision to act in that way should be recorded on the appropriate forms, or where this is not practicable, in pocket books or policy logs.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Exemptions do not apply to this statement of agreed policy under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Review Arrangements:

This policy together with its Equality Analysis will be reviewed every 3 years.

Rights of redress for members of the public:

Anyone who feels that a member of staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, or who is dissatisfied with organisational matters, service delivery or other operational policing issues, has the right to make a complaint

Initial action should be taken in one of the following ways:

  • Complain in writing or in person to the Senior Officer at the appropriate police station or to the Chief Constable of the force concerned.
  • Visit a local Citizens' Advice Bureau
  • Contact a Solicitor

Rights of redress for South Yorkshire Police personnel:

South Yorkshire Police personnel who feel they have grounds for concern in relation to the implementation of policies may, as appropriate:

  • Pursue concerns through their line manager.
  • Contact a First Contact Advisor.
  • Pursue a grievance formally through the South Yorkshire Police Fairness at Work Procedure.
  • Seek advice from their staff association or trades union.
  • Use procedural instruction D50241 Management of Complaints, in the section entitled Handling Complaints relating to Direction and Control.


28 October 2010


Wednesday, 11 May, 2016 - 00:00