An Ofsted inspection report has praised Cafcass for the quality of its service to children in South Yorkshire and Humberside despite record demand.
Ofsted praised the team for its 'effective advocacy for children and young people', and the strength of its risk assessments and recommendations to court which are 'effective in ensuring that children are safeguarded'. Inspectors reported that, 'Family court advisers commence work on new cases immediately and efficiently", that backlogs had been eradicated and that direct work with children and families was 'well-planned and sensitive'.
The report is one of a series of recent positive Ofsted inspection results including those in Tyneside, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, and Cheshire and Merseyside and coincides with the latest care application statistics which show that demand for its services remains at record levels. Cafcass received 885 care applications in August, the second highest figure ever recorded in a single month in its ten year history.
Anthony Douglas, Chief Executive said: "This report, and the others which we have recently received demonstrate the ways in which we have not only been able to provide a more timely service to many more children, but that we have also simultaneously improved our service despite the pressures. It is further evidence of our ability to improve and of the way in which our work is positively impacting on children. It has led to a better, more responsive and child-focused service."
The report is in stark contrast to some of the inspection results a year ago and show that Cafcass have been able to both absorb more cases and improve the quality of their work.