The resources CAFCASS use to assess harmful conflict

The resources CAFCASS use to assess harmful conflict

If your case involves ‘harmful conflict’, the links below show you the resources CAFCASS use to assess you and your family relationships.  FCAs are expected to follow these processes although they do have discretion in how they conduct their assessments.

For the CAFCASS guidance and procedures for working with children, go to

CAFCASS tries to distinguish between harmful conflict and domestic abuse.  Their approach to domestic abuse has a different set of resources 

Their harmful conflict guide provides a detailed account of how CAFCASS approach these cases and it’s well worth reading.

CAFCASS assessment tools

Dispute resolution skills and techniques guidance

This is a brief guide for Family Court Advisers (FCAs) undertaking dispute resolution (DR) work. It sets out some approaches that can help parents refocus on the child’s experience rather than on their own conflict.

Parenting styles tool

This helps FCAs to identify the parenting styles which they consider affect children’s outcomes.  They have four categories: authoritarian, authoritative, indulgent, and neglectful.

Distinguishing domestic abuse and harmful conflict tool

This is designed to be used early on in a case to assist the FCA in deciding what kind of problem they are dealing with – domestic abuse or harmful conflict – and therefore how they should assess it. However, they also say that it is not designed to be a diagnostic tool and does not replace professional judgement.

Cafcass Positive Co-parenting Programme suitability criteria tool

FCAs use this to assess the suitability of a case for the CAFCASS Positive Parenting Programme (CPPP)

Children’s beliefs about parental divorce tool

This is used when working with children to understand their beliefs about their parents’ divorce (It’s a bit dated, being developed by Kurdek and Berg in 1987!).


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