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Any experience of Cafcass (sorry if wrong board)

(4 Posts)
Red64 Sat 20-Sep-08 18:06:16

My mum has residency of my niece, who is nearly 7. She has lived with my mother on and off most of her life, but mum has had the residency order for the last two years.

My sister decided she wanted her back, and a cafcass appointment was arranged, visitation was set and a date of 5th November for going back for the outcome of the Cafcass report.

My sister has now lost her job and home and is back to 'sofa surfing' which my niece is having to do too when she has her every other weekend. She has lost contact with her solicitor, hence her report to cafcass, which was due end of August has not gone in and she has lost her legal aid. Her solicitor cannot contact her as she has not told him or anyone of her change of circumstances.

The question is, is will Cafcass postpone under these circumstances giving her a chance to sort herself out. With the court appearances for the residency order twice she did not turn up, so twice the whole thing was moved to a later date.

I really don't want to see my Mum and niece have to go through more months of stress over this, my niece does not want to live with her mum and is finding having to spend weekends with her very upsetting, as she is sleeping on the floor, in a strangers house, amongst other things.

Also, we are moving house next month and my Mum and niece will be living with us, again this is being done with my nieces best interests as mum has not been well and coping with a young child is not always easy for her. Cafcass are aware of this and think it is a good idea, but will they interview myself and my partner too, we have three children and both work in childrens services, so no problem, just want to be prepared.

Again, sorry if this is the wrong board, I wasn't sure where to post, would just like some sort of clarification and this whole thing on top of moving house is really becoming quite stressful (understatement!! shock)

Thanks.

Fluffybubble Sat 20-Sep-08 20:23:06

Red - there are lots of people on here that know about cafcass (I don't, sorry!). Try posting on the Lone Parents or Step Parents boards, or on the Legal one (or all three)! Good luck.

Red64 Sat 20-Sep-08 22:03:29

Thanks, I looked for a legal type board but couldn't find one, will have to look harder blush

johnworf Sun 05-Oct-08 14:09:18

Hi,

I've had experience of CAFCASS interviews/visits concerning my DSS who lives with us full time. I wouldn't just not turn up for court as they take a dim view of this and after so many strikes (not sure how many) they will make their decision in your absence.

My own personal experience with the CAFCASS officer was ok. They're there to fact find but hopefully remain objective. Their main objective being the welfare of the child involved. I am sure that if your sister explains what has happened and what, in the meantime, she is doing to sort herself out, they should be sympathetic.

I would also urge her to contact her solicitor and arrange her Legal Aid as this is very important.

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