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 https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/professionals/resources-for-professionals/
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
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.
This helps FCAs to identify the parenting styles which they consider affect children’s outcomes. They have four categories: authoritarian, authoritative, indulgent, and neglectful.
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.
FCAs use this to assess the suitability of a case for the CAFCASS Positive Parenting Programme (CPPP)
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!).