Select Committee on Draft Children (Contact) and Adoption Bill First Report

Chapter 8: Resources

209.  We recommend that the Government reconsider their assertion that the package of proposals contained in the Green Paper will lead to a reduction in caseload. The resource implications of an increase in caseload should be calculated and presented in the final RIA. (para 155)

210.  The full RIA should include a detailed explanation of how both CAFCASS and the Court Service can expect to meet their increased remits within existing costs. (para 161)

211.  We also recommend that the Government make clear what action it would take if extra resources were requested by CAFCASS or the Court Service following implementation of the legislation. (para 162)

212.  As noted in paragraph 49 above, we recommend that the Government carry out a review of the local service provision of contact activities. Ready access to these services is essential to the successful implementation of the Bill. Where gaps are found, the Government should be prepared to invest additional money to improve service provision and thereby, it is hoped, secure the anticipated future savings. (para 165)

213.  We recommend that, in presenting the final RIA, the Government makes clear the basis of its assumed input values, makes explicit the connection between assumptions and associated estimates, and indicates the probability of costs and savings leaning towards the low- or high-end of the estimates. We also recommend that a summary of the estimated costs and savings associated with the two options is presented, so as to allow comparison of the relative merits of each proposal. (para 171)

214.  We recommend that, prior to the introduction of the full Bill, the Government improve their knowledge of current child contact activity in the courts, either through direct collection of statistics or through further sampling. Doing so will allow the Government to either rely less on assumed inputs or improve its confidence in its assumptions, and so narrow its costs and savings estimate ranges. (para 175)

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