Cafcass, MPs, and complaints

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We know that many of our enquiries relate to service users who have complained to Cafcass and got nowhere and have even got their MP to complain to Cafcass on their behalf, so we were interested to see the following recent request to Cafcass under a FOI:

Would you please inform me of the number of occasions that an MP has made a complaint (or supported a complaint from a service user) to Cafcass for the years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017?

Cafcass responded to say:

Please note that Cafcass does not receive complaints from MPs however Cafcass does received (sic) enquiries made by MPs on behalf of their constituents.

They then attached the following figures:

YearTotal
2014193
2015174
2016166
201799
Total632

What’s interesting is that Cafcass do not regard an enquiry from an MP as a “complaint” and yet there is no other reason for an MP to get in touch with them on behalf of a service user. Unless we’ve missed something, we don’t see any service users writing to their MPs to get them to compliment Cafcass – all we see and hear about is the opposite.

So we can assume that these 632 “enquiries” are mostly if not all “complaints. That works out at 3-4 a week, every week. That’s not complaints from service users, it’s purely complaints from service users who’ve felt so strongly about their cases that they’ve involved their MP – and remember that most people haven’t got a clue how to involve their MP never mind one that will raise an actual issue with a 3rd party organisation on their behalf.

Massaging the figures

Is this another example of Cafcass massaging their figures and data to try to present things in a flattering light when actually the truth is completely different?

We think so.

But please do let us know if you’ve ever asked your MP to get in touch with Cafcass for anything OTHER than a complaint.

Form an orderly queue…

Original FOI Request:

In a Family Law system designed for combative parents there is no real allowance for the views of children and any understanding of how Family Law ultimately impacts on children most of all.

We speak for the children in Family Law so that, finally, the children have a voice.

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