Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
Ofsted to introduce new Cafcass inspections
Ofsted is set to introduce a new, more effective and proportionate approach to inspecting Cafcass (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service).
The inspectorate will use a ‘whole-system’ approach of shorter inspections every 3 years, with more regular contact in between, to build a better picture of Cafcass’s practice. It will bring Cafcass inspections in line with Ofsted’s other inspections of children’s social care.
Ofsted yesterday published its consultation outcome confirming that its proposals will be introduced in full. The new approach includes:
- a 3-yearly national judgement inspection
- focused visits between judgement inspections, looking at a specific area of service/cohort of children
- annual sharing of a self-evaluation of frontline practice in both public and private law
- an annual engagement meeting between Ofsted and the Cafcass chief executive and senior leadership team
At the 3-yearly inspection, Ofsted will judge the quality and effectiveness of Cafcass’s private law and public law practice, and the impact leaders have on practice with children and families. If Cafcass is judged to be inadequate, Ofsted will carry out monitoring visits to make sure improvements are made.
Ofsted received over 300 responses to its consultation. The majority broadly agreed with the proposals. Responses were from a mix of those working with children and families in the family courts, parents and other family members.
The new approach will take effect from 1 April 2021. Ofsted will begin with a focused visit of Cafcass as part of a phased return to routine social care inspection. The visit will provide assurance about the quality and impact of Cafcass’s work with families, while taking ongoing COVID-19 restrictions into account.
Ofsted will review the effectiveness of the new approach during the early stages of rollout.
Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Regulation and Social Care, yesterday said:
Children involved in the family justice system deserve the highest standard of care and support during what is often a distressing time. Our new approach to inspecting Cafcass is proportionate yet rigorous, providing more frequent scrutiny of its work with families and a greater focus on children’s experiences. My thanks to everyone who gave us their views.
8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday 0300 013 0415
Latest News from
Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
Ofsted publishes annual report and accounts 2020-2116/07/2021 13:33:00
Ofsted yesterday published thier latest annual report and accounts for 2020 to 2021, highlighting thier work and financial information for the last year.
Simply ‘doing’ music is not enough13/07/2021 10:15:00
Ofsted has published its latest research review looking at music education in schools.
Amanda Spielman at the 2021 ADCS conference12/07/2021 15:15:15
Ofsted's Chief Inspector recently (09 July 2021) discussed the impact of COVID-19 and recent work at the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) annual conference.
Inspections to look at how schools and colleges work to prevent sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence29/06/2021 13:15:00
Ofsted yesterday published updated education inspection handbooks, clarifying how inspectors will assess how schools and colleges confront sexual harassment, abuse and violence among children and young people.
Ofsted's Chief Inspector at the Festival of Education, 202128/06/2021 13:15:00
Amanda Spielman recently (24 June 2021) gave a speech at the annual Festival of Education conference.
Inspectorates: Rainsbrook children and staff fear serious harm21/06/2021 16:15:00
Serious and widespread failings at Rainsbrook secure training centre have put children and staff at risk of harm, Ofsted, HMI Prisons and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) find.
Children’s social care survey results published18/06/2021 15:20:00
Ofsted's annual survey captures the views of children and adults about children's social care settings.
Ofsted publishes research review on geography18/06/2021 13:15:00
Ofsted has published the fifth in a series of reviews into different subjects across the curriculum. The latest review looks at geography education.