Posts by Jill Canvin

CAFCASS Assessments: Parental Alienation

As part of their Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF), CAFCASS have guidance on how to assess families and how they work with children where there is parental alienation.

The links in this blog will show you exactly what the Family Court Adviser (FCA) will use to assess or analyse your family and you can see exactly what CAFCASS thinks is useful.  FCAs are expected to follow these processes although they do have discretion in how they conduct their assessments.

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CAFCASS Assessments: The Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF)

The Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF) sets out how CAFCASS think children experience parental separation, how the child’s reaction can be understood and what should be done. The framework consists of four guides which Cafcass practitioners can use to assess different types of problem, known as ‘case factors’.

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CAFCASS: Child Contact Interventions and the Separated Parents Information Programme

CAFCASS describe Child Contact Interventions (CCIs) as short-term interventions of supervised contact.  They are designed to help adults and children establish safe and beneficial contact when it is difficult to do on their own. CAFCASS consider CCIs should be a ‘learning opportunity’ for parents with input from the Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP). 

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CAFCASS interventions/assessments: The Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DAPP)

If you’re being assessed by CAFCASS, we’d love to hear what it’s like for you.
The DAPP is run for CAFCASS by independent providers (see the Directory of Providers).  It aims to help people who have been abusive towards their partners or ex-partners to change their behaviour and develop respectful, non-abusive relationships. CAFCASS says that a DAPP can make an important difference to the lives of those involved, including the children but it can be challenging.  The court’s decisions about contact will be based on the progress made in the programme.

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How do I know if I’m being manipulated?

Manipulation is controlling someone or something to your own advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly. It’s an emotionally unhealthy strategy used by people who are incapable of asking for what they want and need in a direct way. Someone who tries to manipulate you is trying to control you. Manipulative behaviour involves the three key features of fear, obligation and guilt.  So, if you feel guilty or under pressure due to a sense of obligation towards someone and fearful of failing them, take heed, it might be that you’re being manipulated. 

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CAFCASS Part 3: The Section 7 (S7) report

The CAFCASS website explains how they consider these cases and how they deal specifically with allegations of domestic abuse, high conflict cases, parental alienation, substance abuse and mental illness. 
The CAFCASS worker preparing the report will decide what enquiries to make based on what the court has asked them to look into. This may include talking to children (depending on their age and understanding) about their wishes and feelings and what they would like to happen.

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cafcass assessment

CAFCASS: Representing Yourself in the Family Court

When you represent yourself in a contested family case, in other words without a lawyer, you are called a ‘litigant in person’ (LIP).  It’s an extremely daunting experience and the best way to cope is to understand the process, read up about the issues, get good advice and guidance and be organised so as to make sure you do what’s necessary.  For the professionals involved it’s their jobs.  For you it’s your life and much more stressful. The better prepared you are the less likely you are to be overwhelmed. 

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child writing in a book

What should I expect in a CAFCASS interview? (CAFCASS Assessment Part 2)

You will gain a lot by understanding what’s to be covered in a CAFCASS interview and to have had time to think about how you’ll reply. So prepare well. Read their interview plan to see what CAFCASS cover in their interview, understand the principles by which they work and read my previous blogs with more CAFCASS information. 

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