Sharon Hodgson – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Sharon Hodgson on 2014-04-25.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to improve the rate of return of Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service satisfaction surveys by children between the ages of five and eight.

Simon Hughes

Cafcass does not carry out satisfaction surveys with the children it works with. They have other child-friendly ways of gaining feedback from children, which does include a feedback form. They have different versions of the form for children and young people. One encourages young people to write out their feedback to Cafcass in response to various questions, while the feedback form for younger children asks them to circle the feelings and emotions they have about Cafcass. These are therefore qualitative rather than quantitative. This feedback is collected and acted on at a local level rather than a national one. Complaints are monitored at a national level but addressed at the local level.

Cafcass does not provide a return to the UK Statistics Authority; however they have published anonymised comments from feedback forms as part of their Annual Reports to draw out their direct work with children.

Cafcass commissioned the Family Justice Young People’s Board to review the means by which Cafcass encourages feedback from the children and young people it works with. This review resulted in four recommendations which Cafcass has taken forward including ‘feedback trees’ and changes to the feedback forms.