Court service praised for work with children

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AN OFSTED inspection has praised the Cafcass court social work service for the quality of its care for vulnerable children in South Yorkshire.

Inspectors found that, despite ‘record demand’ for the service, the Cafcass team - which represents children and young people in family court cases - was ‘effective in ensuring children are safeguarded’.

Direct work with children and families was ‘well-planned and sensitive’ and backlogs had been eradicated - even though the South Yorkshire team had seen an increase of a third in two years in the number of children involved in care applications.

Hilary Barrett, head of service, said: “Children have been at the heart of each of the improvements we’ve made. All our efforts and all the changes we’ve made have been directed at making a positive difference to them.

“We knew this had resulted in significant improvements in our work, so I am delighted this has been externally validated. All aspects of our service were rated either ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’, and Ofsted was confident our ability to continue to improve was good.”

Cafcass helped over 8,000 children in family court cases in South Yorkshire and Humberside last year.