Cafcass has ‘not acted on any IRO referrals’

Court advisory service Cafcass has not brought any legal proceedings on behalf of children in care despite referrals from independent reviewing officers (IROs) over the last decade, according to data obtained by campaigners. Figures show that Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) has not initiated legal action in any of the 20 IRO-referred cases between 2009/10 and 2018/19. Children’s rights campaign Article 39, which submitted the data request to Cafcass under the Freedom of Information Act, claims it is “implausible” that no child in care has had their human rights breached. The charity submitted the request after becoming concerned that the law is not effectively protecting children and it has questioned the effectiveness of IROs, who should scrutinise and challenge the need for a care placement before a child is moved. It is calling on Cafcass to carry out a review into how it is supporting the rights of children. Read more.