ENGLAND – Tamworth MP calls for Child Court Reform

Christopher Pincher, pictured, the Member of Parliament for Tamworth, and surrounding villages, has called for a “better dispute resolution procedure” between the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) and parents. This issue was raised by Mr Pincher in the House of Commons at the end of July before the parliamentary summer break.

CAFCASS and the Child Support Agency (CSA) has recently been criticised for the handling of specific cases such as the Baby P incident in 2007. Poor service and ignored called have also been the lot of Tamworth constituents battling to gain access to or arrange visits for their children.

In his speech to the Commons, Mr Pincher stated:

“It is clear that the CSA is in need of reform, as is the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, or CAFCASS, the dispute resolution mechanism. Parents in Tamworth tell me that communications from CAFCASS are often vague, sometimes complex and are almost always sent only in response to parents’ questions and complaints.”

Mr Pincher added:

“CAFCASS, in my own experience of dealing with it, seems to be reactive and unhelpful. Yet day in and day out it is dealing with the some of the most upset, angry and worried parents. It seems clear that we need better dispute resolution procedures between parents so that fewer cases go to court and disputes are resolved more quickly.”

Mr Pincher has made it clear that communication within CAFCASS needs to be improved in order in speed up the process and minimise the stress caused by the difficult situation in which a family can find themselves. A request for information on any plans to reform the Child Support Agency was also made by Mr Pincher to the House of Commons.

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