Cafcass safeguarding letter

This is a mock safeguarding letter of the kind sent to the court and parties by Cafcass. It has been written based on Support Through Court’s experience of supporting clients in child arrangements cases. It is for educational purposes. All characters and other entities appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental.

Cafcass Letter to the Court
Court Sandford Family Court
Case Number SA001912345
Date of Hearing 12th March 2020

Children Subject to the Application
Name Gender Date of Birth Age
Chloe Smith Female 01/02/2016 4 years

Adult Parties to the Proceedings
Name Gender Relationship to the child(ren) Date of Birth
Jazmin Johnson Female Mother 04/07/1993
Steven Smith Male Father 10/10/1985

Cafcass have received the C100 and supplementary C1 application in relation to this matter.

Summary of Cafcass screening actions and outcomes

The child is subject to the C100 application to determine:

  • The application is for the child to live with the mother and to determine what paternal contact may take place.
  • Cafcass have undertaken Safeguarding enquiries with the Local Authority and the Police National Computer.
The family is not previously known to Cafcass.

Jazmin Johnson:       No Trace (Police National Computer)
Steven Smith:            No Trace (Police National Computer)

Steven Smith was arrested on xx/xx/xx after police were called by a neighbour to the family home. It is alleged by Ms Johnson that Mr Smith punched her in the face. He is currently on police bail with conditions whilst the matter is investigated.

Local Authority:
The family is not previously known to the Local Authority.

An exemption to attend the MIAM has been claimed due to allegations of domestic violence.

Summary of any risk identification contacts made by Cafcass

Telephone interview with Jazmin Johnson on xx/xx/xx

  • Ms Johnson currently resides with her two children (Jaden Johnson, Date of Birth 12/05/2012 is not subject to this application) at a confidential address having left the family home due to domestic violence.
  • Ms Johnson alleges that on xx/xx/xx Mr Smith punched her in the face whilst she was holding her daughter Chloe. Police were called by a neighbour and Mr Smith was arrested and is currently on police bail.
  • She alleges a history of controlling and coercive behaviour perpetrated by Mr Smith, including financial abuse whereby he uses child benefit to purchase alcohol.
  • She further alleged he has a substantial drink problem and becomes violent when drunk.
  • She has stopped all contact upon leaving the family home and feels that any contact would place her and her daughter at risk of physical and emotional harm from Mr Smith.
  • Chloe is attending a local nursery and is settling well.

Telephone interview with Steven Smith on xx/xx/xx

  • Mr Smith currently resides at the former family home and he has bail conditions not to contact Ms Johnson. 

  • He states that the allegations made against him are false and that it was Ms Johnson who assaulted him and her injury was caused by a drug dealer to whom Ms Johnson owes money.

  • Mr Smith alleges that Ms Johnson regularly uses cocaine and cannabis even when looking after the children and he has to restrict her access to money ‘for her own good’.

  • Mr Smith intends to submit his own application for Chloe to live with him in due course.

Analysis of issues arising from safeguarding or risk identification

Safeguarding is complete:

Cafcass have concerns that exposure to conflict between the parents is detrimental to the emotional welfare of the child. The allegation of assault against Ms Johnson, if proven, would indicate a serious concern regarding the safety of Chloe from Mr Smith.  There are allegations of domestic abuse perpetrated by Mr Smith and drug use by Ms Johnson. The risks to Ms Johnson from Mr Smith at child contact have not been investigated and in any event the relocation of Ms Johnson to confidential location would make this extremely problematic.

Advice to the court:

  • Given the nature and severity of the allegations against Mr Smith regarding Chloe, Cafcass would advise against any contact taking place until further information is known. This may be reassessed at the FHDRA.
  • Disclosure of incidents reported to the police and the circumstances of the most recent allegation of assault should be obtained from Sandford Police.
  • Drug and alcohol tests should be considered for both parties.
  • A Section 7 Report could be considered after a finding of facts hearing or decision from the court.

A copy of this letter has been sent to both parties.

Last modified: Wednesday, 19 February 2020, 2:24 PM