When you represent yourself in a contested family case, in other words without a lawyer, you are a ‘litigant in person’ (LIP). It’s a daunting experience and the best way to cope is to understand what’s going to happen, who is going to do what, what issues are going to be seen as important and what will not be seen as important, get good advice and be organised and make sure you do what’s necessary.
CAFCASS Assessments: Parental mental illness, Sexual abuse, Parental drug or alcohol abuse, Neglect, Child exploitation
See all the ‘tools’ used by CAFCASS to assess these parenting problems
If your case involves ‘harmful conflict’, the links in this blog show you exactly how CAFCASS will assess you and your family relationships. FCAs are expected to follow these processes although they do have discretion in how they conduct their assessments.
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.
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’.
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.
Parents who are in conflict with their exes over the arrangements for their children often find that they have been drawn into a repeated pattern of damaging emotional reactions and behaviour. Their ex is able to manipulate them, deliberately provoking them and knowing what will cause a reaction. To prevent this you must distance yourself from the adult but not from the child. Distancing yourself means having no conversation and no meetings. If that is impossible without help here is an adapted version of the 12 steps which could be a guide to achieving the necessary balance
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.