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HELP - What Are The Questions CAFCASS Might Ask?

  • PapasLove
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04 Apr 10 #196140 by PapasLove
Topic started by PapasLove
My partner is quite shy and finds it difficult to express himself.
He has heard the CAFCASS horror stories and had the misfortune to deal with a particularly awful one on the initial hearing.

He has an interview regarding contact soon and is in knots just thinking about what they'll ask.

RP is part of the judicial system and has suitably coached child of what to say (a long, disturbing story)but my partner is powerless to do anything about it as she stopped all contact in early March.

If anyone knows what they might ask, please let us know.

Thank you.

  • zonked
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04 Apr 10 #196141 by zonked
Reply from zonked
Basically, the officer will be trying to find out 'what's best for the child'. They follow what's called 'the welfare checklist' which I've cut n pasted below:

the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his or her age and understanding);
their physical, emotional and educational needs;
the likely effect on them of any change in his circumstances;
their age, sex, background and any of their characteristics that the court considers relevant;
any harm which they have suffered or are at risk of suffering; and
how capable each of his or her parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his or her needs.

Its impossible to predict what questions will be asked, but at a guess I think you can expect questioning over:

- your ptr's feelings/attitude towards his ex.

Any signs of hostility or anger may set off alarm bells. Conversely, given the circumstances not showing any feeling at all would be odd. Possibly the safest course would be to acknowledge some positives about the ex together with sadness and dismay at the direction she has taken. He should talk respectfully about the ex, do not try and assume a position of superiority by listing how bad she is. What you don’t want is the officer to walk away thinking your ptr is motivated by anger or unresolved conflict.

- his motivation for making the application.

Very important area. He needs to calmly explain why he's making the application. Keep it child centered. Show emotional warmth. Paint a picture in words of how you hope the future will be. Conversely, express your fears for the child if contact was to fail. The traps to avoid is saying the application is made to establish fairness, get your rights or balance the power between the parents - all of that will go down like a lead balloon.

If I think of anything else, will make a second post, as ever good luck

  • PapasLove
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04 Apr 10 #196146 by PapasLove
Reply from PapasLove
As ever, thanks Zonked!!

His child has completely turned against me which is awful as we had such a lovely relationship before.
His ex is pulling out all the stops by spoiling the child rotten. From phone calls with his dad, it sounds like he could ask for a trip to the moon and he'd get it at the moment!
I just pray we get a decent CAFCASS officer and not one of the infamous bad ones.


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