Napo Magazine - The Trade Union, Professional Association and campaigning organisation for Probation and Family Court staff news.

Napo’s submission for the review of the reconfiguration of Band 8 roles

Thank you to our Family Court Section members who contributed to our submission for the review of the reconfiguration of band 8 roles (Assistant Service Manager and Consultant Family Court Advisor).

Thank you to our Family Court Section members who contributed to our submission for the review of the reconfiguration of band 8 roles (Assistant Service Manager and Consultant Family Court Advisor).

We sent our paper to Cafcass Senior Leaders ahead of our Partnership meeting with them on the Monday 2nd October 2023. Cafcass Senior Leaders thanked us for our paper and confirmed that this will be considered as part of their formal review of the reconfiguration of Band 8 roles. We were told that the outcome of this review will be completed and reported upon in November 2023.

If you have had your ASM confirmation period extended (beyond 6 months) due to factors outside of your control, please can you contact us as it has been agreed that we can raise your circumstances directly with Cafcass Senior Leaders.

One Response

  1. The Family Justice Council have now published their Draft Guidance on Responding to Allegations of Alienating behaviour (August 2023), and this makes reference to the role and relevance of “experts” when working with these complex cases. The Guidance particularly advises that Cafcass are not “arbiters of fact”, and that the burden of proof will “fall to the person making the allegations”. Cafcass may therefore need to be cautious of any written opinion or advice they give to the court concerning allegations of harm, either prior, or during court proceedings when applications for contact with the non-resident parent have already begun.

    The Guidance states that “the behaviour of a child is not evidence of the behaviour of an adult, so the child should not be used to evidence adult behaviours”. The Guidance also clarifies that  “only HCPC Registered psychologists have the relevant clinical experience and training to conduct psychological assessments of people and make clinical diagnoses and recommendations for treatment and interventions”.

    The removal of legal aid assistance from the family courts, except where there are proven allegations of domestic violence and abuse, is another complicating factor, particularly given that qualifying evidence in the family court is lower than that required in criminal proceedings.

    Just over 4% of Private Family Law cases take up the majority of court time. These tend to be those entrenched cases with multiple court applications. Any organisation involved with these families is now increasingly under scrutiny by MOJ to try and discern how to manage cases more appropriately, whilst protecting and benefitting children and abiding by their rights as guaranteed by Article 8 of the HRA.

    The above may demonstrate the changing situation in the Family Courts and the need for improved clarity of the role of Cafass officers in those Courts when negotiating improved pay and conditions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts