As a key part of the family justice system and an essential public service in Wales, Cafcass Cymru is working hard to maintain its service to children and families in what are very challenging times.
We are continuing to offer our service to family courts across all parts of the country. However, in response to the situation we are now adapting the way that we work during this time and will be supporting First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointments and our participation in court hearings via telephone or video calls.
All contact centers remain closed for direct face to face contact but some providers are now able to offer remote supervised contact via video platforms such as Skype. Cafcass Cymru are now accepting referrals for remote supervised contact which has been assessed by one of our practitioners to be safe and appropriate for the child.
Currently we are not able to take referrals for supported contact.
All WT4C providers are now offering a remote service via video platform sites. Providers are working through a backlog of referrals and until these have been cleared we are not able to accept any new referrals. We are constantly reviewing this situation and anticipate this will change in July.
DNA testing can be arranged but this is not currently being undertaken directly by Cafcass Cymru practitioners.
We are continuing to offer parents, carers and children the option of using Skype, Microsoft Teams, Facetime or telephone communication in place of face-to-face meetings. Our staff are now working remotely and we are tailoring the way we work accordingly. Our telephone services remain available across Wales at this time.
Our preferred option is communication via email, and you may be asked to follow a verification process to confirm your details. This enables us to protect your information. We are currently unable to communicate with service users by post.
All offices are closed until further notice. We are keeping our plans under constant review. When our offices open we will ensure that we are following Health and Safety/ Government guidelines. Clearly, this is a fast-moving situation and we are keeping our plans under constant review.
Our senior leadership team is monitoring the situation closely and remains involved in ongoing planning conversations with our partners, including the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) to ensure that children and families receive the best possible service in these changing circumstances.
We will provide further updates if the situation changes significantly.