Constitutional Affairs Committee

Press Notice No.22 of Session 2002-03           10 October 2003


Reacting to the announcement of the resignation of the Chairman of CAFCASS, Anthony Hewson OBE, Committee Chairman Rt Hon Alan Beith MP (speaking from Scarborough, where he is addressing the Napo AGM) said:

 "Mr Hewson, who had the job of setting up CAFCASS on an
impossible timetable with inadequate resources, has opened the way to implementing one of the Committee's main recommendations by resigning. We said that there should be a fundamental review of the membership of the Board, and that now needs to be carried out by the Minister for Children, Margaret Hodge. Later this month the Committee will be pressing in a House of Commons debate on its Report that the full range of its recommendations be implemented, so that CAFCASS is able to give vulnerable children the service they need and are entitled to."

Notes for editors:

1.CAFCASS, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, was established in 2001 to integrate the Family Court Welfare Service, GALRO, and the Children's Division of the Official Solicitor. CAFCASS's functions relate to family proceedings where the welfare of children is or maybe in question. They are to: safeguard and promote the welfare of the child; give advice to the court about any application made to it in such proceedings; make provision for children to be represented in such proceedings; and provide information, advice and support for children and their families.

2.The appointment of a new Chairman "for the time being" following Anthony Hewson OBE's decision to step down as Chairman of CAFCASS was announced today by the Department for Constitutional Affairs in press notice 388/03, available from

3.The Committee's Report on CAFCASS was published on 21 July 2003. It is available on the Committee's website at