Today in the Chamber, Munira asked the Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland QC MP, for long-term support measures for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

The service has been overwhelmed by the pandemic, and although short term funding has been gratefully received, contingencies for the future need to be made in order for the service to keep running.

Speaking in the Chamber, Munira said:

“Thank you Mr. Speaker. Ministers will be aware that CAFCASS was already experiencing a workload crisis pre-pandemic which has only worsened through the lockdown.

Although the Ministry of Justice has provided additional welcome short term funding, does the Government have a longer term strategy to ensure that CAFCASS can better retain staff, and deliver a service that truly meets the needs of children and families?”

In response, Robert Buckland said:

“The honourable lady will be glad to know that during this crisis an extra £3.4 million has been allocated to CAFCASS to help them through the crisis.

Indeed, I take the point about long term planning. In fact, we are looking wholesale at the way in which family cases are dealt with. The family harms report published this year was a no holds barred analysis of what is wrong with the system, and both I and senior judiciary within the family division are going to do something about it.”