Inspecting Cafcass: framework

The framework for Ofsted inspections of Cafcass (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service).

Applies to England



The inspection framework, introduced in April 2021, sets out how Ofsted will inspect the quality and effectiveness of Cafcass’s private and public law practice with children and families and the impact of leaders on private and public law practice with children and families. In evaluating the impact of the service, the inspection will also evaluate how well Cafcass positively influences the effectiveness of the family justice system both locally and nationally.

Published 17 March 2021
Last updated 5 April 2024 + show all updates
  1. This framework has been updated to clarify that, when applying the handbook, inspectors will take appropriate action to comply with Ofsted’s Equality Act duties, clarification on the opportunities for the centre to discuss and/or provide information on potential equalities duties, including reasonable adjustments for individuals, clarification regarding Ofsted’s updated arrangements for publishing the report, quality assurance and handling concerns and complaints in line with Ofsted’s new complaints process in the timeframe sections, references to Ofsted’s pausing process, and minor revision to the ‘Inspection activity and gathering evidence’ section (what inspectors will take into account when evaluating children’s experience).

  2. Additional guidance on deferring an inspection, inspector conduct during inspections, when and how the provider can raise issues, concerns or complaints during and after the inspection, supporting the well-being of the provider’s managers and staff during inspections and visits, attendance at keeping in touch meetings, discussions with staff and feedback meetings and who the provider may share provisional and final inspection outcomes with.

  3. Correction to the wording of the relevant (outstanding) evaluation criteria.

  4. First published.