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and dare we say it, when penned by politicians seem to take on a sinister and unwelcome meaning, but occasionally we see glimpses of a better future and Researching Reform has had the privilege of witnessing that world, today. Today, we received a phone call from a gentleman who is very well known to us, not least of all because he has supported our debates in the House of Commons by attending several of them but also due to the fact that he continues to keep in touch and update us on the progress he is making with one organisation in particular: Cafcass. That gentleman’s name is Brian Hitchcock and today he told Researching Reform that his experience with Cafcass has been second to none. Because Cafcass are now listening to parents. Brian is the Director for Legal Services at Men’s Aid, a charity which provides support for men who have been abused, which can range from physical to psychological abuse. Brian is also now an external stakeholder for Cafcass and offers support to parents who feel they have not had a fair hearing. Brian has very kindly sent us an email (see below) explaining the work he is doing, the amazing improvement he has seen at Cafcass and incredibly touchingly, thanking John Hemming and Researching Reform for what is in reality a very modest contribution to his success. On behalf of Researching Reform, we would like to thank you Brian, for your kindness. The letter is certainly worth a read – it reminds us all that things can change…. Dear Natasha,
As you know I was appointed an external stakeholder of Cafcass after an APPG seminar at which Anthony Douglas Chief Executive of Cafcass was a guest speaker. Previously I had been a Key Stakeholder and then an Interested Party.
Anthony has appointed a liaison officer to work with me to address any concerns that I have about Cafcass. I am happy to report that the liaison officer has addressed all my concerns thus far and if I have any concerns in the future I know they will be professionally addressed.
Complainants can contact Cafcass in the first instance and if they do not obtain a fair hearing they can approach me for assistance.
If there is a child abuse element to the complaint I can short circuit the procedures and get the concerns of the parent to the liaison officer in rapid quick time.
You and John Hemming MP were instrumental in allowing me to make this great leap forward.
Brian Hitchcock BA Director of Legal Services Men’s Aid Charity www.mensaid.com