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CAFCASS and the work of independent reviewing officers
Date:20 AUG 2007

Mike Hinchliffe, Deputy Head of Legal Services, CAFCASS. Since the original CAFCASS Practice Note was issued in November 2004 there have been no formal referrals by independent reviewing officers (IROs). Although human rights claims and applications for judicial review have been brought by parents and young people themselves, there is widespread concern that potential claims are not being referred to CAFCASS when they should be. The new Practice Note spells out in more detail the interfaces between the children's guardian and the IRO at various stages of a looked after child's time with a local authority. For more information on this issue, the role of the Official Solicitor and CAFCASS Cymru and details of the CAFCASS duty lawyer helpline see August [2007] Fam Law.

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