House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 2002-03
Publications on the internet
Committee on the Lord Chancellor's Department Committee Publications

Committee on the Lord Chancellor's Department - Third Report

Here you can browse the report together with the Proceedings of the Committee. The published report was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 15 July 2003.


Terms of Reference



1  Introduction

Our inquiry

Acknowledging the devotion of CAFCASS practitioners

Submissions from non-resident parents and those concerned about domestic violence

2  The role of CAFCASS

Introduction to CAFCASS's role

Private law proceedings

Public law proceedings

Other proceedings

CAFCASS Legal Services and Special Casework

Wider responsibilities

Role of MCSI

3  The establishment of CAFCASS

Aim of the new service

Problems with the establishment of the service


Work of the Project Team

Effect of the short timetable

Appointment of the Board and senior management team


Establishment of the service: conclusion

4  The early days

Dispute with self-employed guardians

Disruption in the senior management team

Role of the Lord Chancellor's Department

Intervention by LCD officials

Suspicions of cost-cutting

Tandem representation

Work of the Project Team

Review by the National Audit Office

5  Current situation

Failures in service provision

Reasons for delay


Lowering of standards for recruitment


Consequences of the lack of training


Performance management and appraisal

Information Technology

Support services

Partnership funding

Effect of LCD's PSA targets

Relations with the Legal Services Commission

Relations with other organisations

Research and improving practice

6  Corporate governance

Management and organisational culture


Internal communications and relations with front-line staff

The "mixed economy"

Relationship between LCD and CAFCASS


7  The way forward

Failures in service provision


Dealing with the backlog

Recruitment and workforce planning

Attracting back experienced guardians

Longer-term recruitment

Standard of work done by new recruits

Training and professional development

Induction training


Performance management

Progress in the provision of training

Information Technology

Support services

Need to indicate role in provision of support services

Funding for support services

Cooperation with other bodies

Research and improving practice

Management and organisational culture

The Framework Document and CAFCASS's relationship with government


Inspection regime  

Continued Parliamentary scrutiny of CAFCASS's work

Conclusions and recommendations

Formal minutes


List of written evidence

Reports from the Committee on the Lord Chancellor's Department

HC 614-II - Oral and Written Evidence

Oral Evidence

Tuesday 8 April 2003
Tuesday 29 April 2003
Tuesday 6 May 2003
Thursday 22 May 2003

Written Evidence

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Prepared 23 July 2003