I have just come back from court. Managed to get a Interim
contact order. No overnight stays. There has been in the past, but been interupted by STBX. What is a section 7 report and what will CAFCASS do to compile the report? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also any tips for dealing with CACASS.
Under s7 Chlldren Act 1989 a court may ask for a report relating to the welfare of a child. This involves meeting with parents and children to find out the background and recommend a way forward. You shouldn't be worried unless there are exceptional reasons courts invariably support
. Like parents individuals in CAFCASS, the legal profession and the judiciary have there own attitudes about how much contact.
A s7 report will typically cover background information about the family's circumstances and the aspirations of individual family members. The Court Welfare Officer will gather background information from the children's school and the social work department if there has been any involvement with them to assist the judge in making a decision. Also the child protection register is checked, as is the National Probation Service to see if either parent is known to them. Interviews with parents and children may be at Cafcass' offices and/or home visits. Part of the report will document what each party and the children said.
The information gathered is checked against the welfare checklist;
(a)the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding);
(b)his physical, emotional and educational needs;
(c)the likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances;
(d)his age, sex, background and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant;
(e)any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
(f)how capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs;
(g)the range of powers available to the court under this Act [Children Act 1989] in the proceedings in question.
Congratulations on gaining your interim contact
order, allbeit without any overnight contact
You state that you have previously enjoyed overnight contact , but the mother now disagrees with this.
I presume she put up an argument in court and raised issues on these grounds??
You must come over as a very loving dad to Cafcass, as their report is very important to the final outcome. Do not show loss of temper with these people and demonstrate clean and tidy premises for overnight stay when they visit you.
In addition, try to avoid contraversy in the times you have contact now. I'e dont leave the kids with anyone else even if you are just nipping somewehere.
I'm afraid it does take months for them to compile their reports and a final hearing to be set, should it go that far
The only reason given by her for no overnight
contact was her saying I am unable to meet their \"emotional needs\" she says i didnt return the boys when they got upset when they were with me on a agreed 2 week holiday(she came round and demanded the boys back after 9 nights) She did infact phone themk twice a day, said their cousin was down visiting and stated they needed to help their uncle build a tree house.
I can understand her point that the children may miss her during a 2 week holiday.
However an overnight stay is a different matter altogether. If you had already had overnight contact
on say a weekly / fortnightly basis, I cant understand why the judge has ordered no overnight contact in the interim?
Have you had regular overnight contact previously?
I have just received my section 7 report. Biggest waste of time. I will spend all of the next court date correcting the errors in the report. It doesn't say anything I couldn't have told the court, but seems to side more with my ex. The only positive phrase towards me is saying I was very \"child orientated\". Well if I wasn't I wouldn't be sat here talking to you would i? Anyone who goes through this nightmare of fighting to see their child is child orientated.