Researchers Given Access To Rich Cafcass Databases

Researchers now will have access to the Cafcass case file data in a strategy to exchange knowledge and learning with key partners, so as to “gain a greater understanding of family justice issues and the diverse needs of children and families in family court proceedings.”

Fully anonymised data on the Cafcass case files have now been transferred to the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank.

Access to the data, practice-insides and analysis will help lead better research to improve and give better understanding of children’s lived experiences, meaning that changes and improves can be made to the family justice system at both a local and national level.

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory data partnership with the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University and the SAIL Databank at Swansea University was established to provide access to the rich data about children in the family justice system and to help fill any knowledge gaps.

For further details on how to access Cafcass data for research, please visit their Research and data page.

Jacky Tiotto, Cafcass Chief Executive, said:

“A key priority for Cafcass is to strengthen our understanding of the family justice system so that we are able to be as effective as we can be in improving the lives of the children whose experiences we try to represent in the family courts. Making our data fully accessible to UK researchers means we will have more opportunity to heighten our understanding of the needs of families and carers involved in family court proceedings. We hope to improve our understanding about what makes the most positive difference in children’s lives and to build this knowledge into future reform.

“The more evidence-based expertise we have about children, their families and their pathways through the family justice system, the better we can support them and ensure they receive the help and support they need.”

Lisa Harker, Director of the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, said:

“We are committed to ensuring that the best data and robust research evidence is used to inform the decisions made about vulnerable children. This partnership represents a step-change; there is now an opportunity to shed light on how the system is working. It will help to improve evidence-informed decision-making, with the ultimate goal of delivering better outcomes for children and families.”

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