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CAFCASS

Volume 489: debated on Monday 9 March 2009

10. When he next expects to meet representatives of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to discuss its work. (261299)

Baroness Delyth Morgan, the Under-Secretary responsible for the matter, holds regular quarterly meetings with CAFCASS to review the progress of its work. Her last meeting with the organisation was held on 10 February.

Does the Minister agree that, although the chief executive of CAFCASS, Mr. Anthony Douglas, is doing an excellent job, one of the biggest problems facing the organisation is the lack of a proper complaints procedure? What does she plan to do to tackle that problem?

I greatly welcome the hon. Gentleman’s comments about the chief executive, who is rigorously pursuing performance improvement at CAFCASS at every level. People can complain to CAFCASS, which is a non-departmental public body, with a board that monitors how it works and that will receive those complaints. If he has a specific case in mind or a suggestion for strengthening the process, I would welcome the opportunity to talk to him about it. I have not had any complaints, apart from his, about the lack of a complaints structure in CAFCASS, but if there is a widespread concern, we will clearly be happy to take it up with the organisation.