Anthony Douglas discusses how evidence in the social care system can help the mental health needs of young children in care
Cafcass is about putting children first in the family courts. When a child comes into the care system it’s our job to hear and bring out their voice.
But this is difficult and complex work to get right as each child is complex and unique.
To do our job well we need to understand a child’s daily, lived experience. We have to work out what they’re going through and then what should happen to them. Ultimately, the quality of our recommendation to the court has a lifelong impact on the life of that child.
I believe that across social care, we need to focus more on understanding the impact of abuse and neglect on a child – not so much what happened, but the emotional and psychological scars left behind.
"How has the child’s mental health been affected, and what should we do in response?"
Anthony Douglas / CBE, Chief Executive of Cafcass