Parents who are involved with #Family Court Proceedings have often asked me whether they can #record the content of meetings with CAFCASS or Social Services. On occasions, a parent has recorded a meeting covertly.
Guidance has now been published and is available to download. The Transparency Project with #Lucy Reed, Barrister in Bristol being the lead, has prepared this guidance.
You can download the guidance here with thanks to the Transparency Project. I would suggest that you read the whole document as it covers the law and would help you to put forward sensible and realistic argument to #CAFCASS or Social Services.
Here is an exert of suggestions if you are a parent and want to #record a meeting with CAFCASS or Social Services (pages 14 and 15 of the guidance):
You are a parent and want to record a meeting:
"We suggest that you ask in advance of the meeting itself, to allow time for the other people involved to think about it and respond. They might not be sure what the law or policy is on this issue and may need to check before they agree. You could show them this guidance to help them. It might be helpful if you explain why you would like to record the meeting.
For example :
● I don’t remember things very well and I’m not very good at taking notes
● The minutes of meetings always come too late
● I feel worried that things I have said or others have said might not be accurately I remember and understand better if I can hear things rather than reading them
● I have a disability which makes it difficult to take notes or affects my memory or concentration
It might be helpful if you agree to record the whole meeting and to send a copy of the entire unedited recording to the other people at the meeting if they would like it.
It might be helpful if you reassure the people at the meeting that you will only use the recording for your own use, or for court proceedings relating to the children, or in the taking of legal advice, and that you will not publish or distribute the recordings on the internet or otherwise. The recording you make might contain other people’s private information (including your childrens’) and it is a good idea to make sure that everyone understands that you appreciate their privacy is important.recorded .
If you are told you cannot record, you could ask for an explanation to be given so you can see if the reason given is a good one or if there is any practical solution that would resolve the problem. If they give a reason that you think is not a very good one you could show them this guidance and ask them to reconsider.
If you are told you cannot record, you could ask for an explanation to be given so you can see if the reason given is a good one or if there is any practical solution that would resolve the problem. If they give a reason that you think is not a very good one you could show them this guidance and ask them to reconsider".
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Deborah or Jo by email or telephone.