Inspections of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Ofsted inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) nationally, including how it provides local services.

Getting notice of an inspection

Cafcass can be inspected at any time. There is no notice of an inspection.

Before the inspection

Ofsted will ask for the information listed in Annex A of the Cafcass inspection handbook. Inspectors will also use:

  • performance data
  • information from Ofsted’s annual survey of Cafcass users, staff and stakeholders

During the inspection

Inspectors will:

  • first look at national functions
  • gather evidence from up to 8 service areas
  • look at a sample of children’s public and private law cases
  • meet with children, young people, parents and carers
  • shadow staff
  • consult partners like local authorities, HM Courts and Tribunal Service and the family judiciary
  • ask for specific information like quality assurance activity and case audits and their action plans

After the inspection

The lead inspector will send the inspection report to the Cafcass national office.

The report will be published online within 20 working days of the end of the inspection.

Complaints about an inspection

Complaints should be made to the lead inspector or Ofsted’s quality assurance manager as soon as possible during the inspection.

Further guidance

You can read the full documents and guidance for Cafcass inspections.

Published 3 December 2014