July 11, 2019 - News

Cafcass Teams up with Version 1 Innovation Labs to Explore RPA

Version 1

Cafcass (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service), a non-departmental public body in England set up to represent the voice of children in family court cases, has teamed up with the Version 1 Innovation Labs to utilise innovative technologies to drive efficiencies in the organisation’s critically important Case Management System.

The Cafcass Case Management System, which Version 1 recently migrated to Cloud, is used by over 2,000 people across 35 offices. This system enables staff to record case information (such as C100 applications for court orders) on a centralised database.

Currently, every c100 application form used to apply for a court order is manually inputted by Cafcass staff into the Case Management System. With over 60,000 such cases recorded each year alone, this manual process is naturally more vulnerable to transcription errors, and is resource intensive which prevents case workers from concentrating on higher-value tasks in an organisation that experiences an ever-increasing demand on its resources.

Automating the Case Creation Process with the Version 1 Innovation Labs

The recent introduction of an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) solution to digitise these application forms has created an opportunity for Cafcass to work with the Version 1 Innovation Labs, to automate this resource-intensive task using Robotic Process Automation tools and technology. The Version 1 Innovation Labs will develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) like a Proof of Concept, demonstrating how this technology might work. Our objective is to enable Cafcass to better understand the potential time and money savings, not to mention reduction in potential human error naturally associated with data input automation.

RPA to the Rescue

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a form of business process automation which, at its heart, scripts and automates the interactions with business systems. This innovative form of business process automation technology is best suited to processes with clear and straightforward rules.  However, advanced forms of RPA tools also use Artificial Intelligence to enable scripting of processes with more complicated rules, or those that may require interpretation or intelligence.

RPA can enable several business benefits:

  • Reduced costs
  • Operational efficiencies – enables staff to focus on more valuable work
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Can sit on top of existing IT systems without a need to rearchitect
  • Reduced risk of human error due to data input transcription errors
  • Produces clear codified rules of how to handle a business process


Robert Langley, CIO at Cafcass commented on the ongoing Innovation collaboration with the Version 1 Innovation Labs:

Cafcass provides an independent voice for children in the family courts, ensuring that the arrangements which are proposed to the court are in children’s best interests. There is a constant demand for our services and last year we supported over 130,000 children and young people. It is extremely important that we are as efficient as possible to support the most effective outcomes. We were thrilled to work with the Version 1 Innovation Labs to explore how the use of cutting-edge technologies could deliver cost savings and efficiencies for our organisation. Currently, our staff must manually input over 60,000 application forms for a court order annually into our Case Management System. We were presented the opportunity to work in partnership with the Version 1 Innovation Labs to automate this task using Robotic Process Automation tools and technology. Working with Version 1 on a Proof-of-Concept for this innovative automated solution will help Cafcass to understand whether implementing this RPA solution will deliver cost savings and associated benefits to the organisation.

Ken MacMahon, Head of Technology and Innovation at Version 1 shared the IT service provider’s ethos in relation to investing in Innovation development:

Version 1 is committed to maintaining an innovative edge to drive Customer Success. Therefore, we want to develop innovative solutions to solve our customers’ current challenges and create new repeatable solutions for the future, and we are investing in ideas that have the potential to do so. Version 1 is investing in demonstrating the value of Robotic Process Automation for our customers’ businesses by collaborating with Cafcass to explore the potential benefits of emerging technologies to their organisation, and to help them understand if RPA is a technology worth investing in. Version 1 is a partner who truly understands Cafcass and we are confident that at the end of this MVP development process, Cafcass will be well-placed to build a business case around this technology with hard metrics detailing the potential cost savings and associated business benefits. We hope that this partnership between Version 1 and Cafcass will open many new avenues for more innovative solutions using Robotic Process Automation.

About Cafcass

Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. Cafcass provides an independent voice for children in the family courts, ensuring that the arrangements which are proposed to the court are in children’s best interest. It puts children’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts, it is independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies. Cafcass was formed in April 2001 under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and is accountable to Parliament through the Ministry of Justice. Cafcass is independent of the courts, social services, education, health authorities and all similar agencies.

About Innovation at Version 1

As an innovative company from inception in 1996, Version 1 is committed to maintaining an innovation edge to drive Customer Success as our customers’ preferred IT Innovation Partner. In 2018, Version 1 announced an investment of €1 Million per annum in its Innovation Lab. Through the Innovation Lab, our customers will receive cutting-edge technologies and services, all designed around solving the real problems our consultants observe across our engagements with enterprise organisations.

For Version 1 partners seeking to discover the potential benefits of RPA for your business, then please visit use the form below to contact us.

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