The services provided by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) in the East Midlands is found to be inadequate, according to a new Ofsted report.
Ofsted's first inspection report of Cafcass since its new remit has found that Cafcass East Midlands has some strengths. It allocates cases promptly, has good relationship with its statutory and voluntary partners, responds to complaints constructively and managing its finances soundly. However, Ofsted has found that many aspects of its services are inadequate.
The report, Ofsted's inspection of Cafcass East Midlands: key challenges and opportunities, has found that Cafcass East Midlands has some strengths. However, there was a serious and significant deficit in the overall quality of practitioner's work with children and families, which was judged to be inadequate.
Responding to the damning report, Anthony Douglas, Cafcass Chief Executive said:
"As Chief Executive of Cafcass I take responsibility for the criticisms in the report and I take responsibility for ensuring that Cafcass improves to deliver the best social work practice possible. Our work is not easy but we have the resources, the desire and the capacity to effect real change.
"We will continue to work with Ofsted to make sure the East Midlands region improves the quality and consistency of its work. During the period of Ofsted's fieldwork, Cafcass was already in the process of developing new structures and systems to drive through improvements in practice."
Ofsted inspected and assessed the quality of service, front-line practice and management of Cafcass's East Midlands region in June and July 2007. The inspection report includes 10 recommendations aimed at improving Cafcass East Midlands delivery of services.
More information, including the report, can be found on the Ofsted website: