Cafcass celebrates Black History Month
Cafcass will be celebrating Black History this October, using the Black History Month mission statement: ‘Dig deeper. Look closer. Think bigger.’ This statement will help us reflect on our commitment to supporting the highest quality social work practice and giving the best experience of contact with us to Black children and families. We will be working hard to understand their unique experiences, the impact of our work with them and exploring how we can promote excellent social work practice.
In June, we published a statement about how we have been talking to children about Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd and the Public Health England report on the disproportionate impact of Covid–19 on Black and Asian communities. We are committed now more than ever to the importance of listening to feedback from Black children and families, learning from them and making improvements to our practice.
This summer, we developed training material designed to enhance our social work practitioner knowledge of race issues. This training material supports their work with children and young people, promoting a sense of confidence in asking questions, responding to comments and exploring how these issues are impacting on children, how they feel and what they need.
Our senior leaders continue to review and explore the actions needed to make sure Cafcass is an organisation in which everyone respects difference, especially the experiences of Black children and families, and our Black colleagues.
There is still more to be done, and we look forward to using Black History Month 2020 as a springboard for reflection all year round on the uniqueness of Black children’s experiences in family proceedings and when they have contact with Cafcass.
Cafcass CEO Jacky Tiotto said: “In our work with children, we want to try in every contact and every conversation to understand who they are, why they are unique, what they wish for and their hopes for their future. To do this well, we have to think about their race, culture, heritage, sexuality, gender, and faith. We are going to use Black History month this year to talk together about how we become the best we can be at recognising in particular, the experiences of Black children in family proceedings. We want to take this learning for the whole year, not just October. I hope we can show that we are an organisation confident in and hungry for change. My personal ambition for this year is that we can show how much we have grown in our practice with Black children over the next twelve months. Hold me to it!”