Cafcass celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities

Today Cafcass is celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities, by exploring how disabilities can impact on our work with children and on the wellbeing of our employees. Our staff are being encouraged to discuss this with colleagues, as part of our commitment to having regular conversations about diversity.

Family Court Advisers continue to assess the needs of each individual child with whom we work, to understand what makes them unique and special. This includes their abilities and disabilities, their hopes, dreams, wishes and feelings. We are reviewing and improving our welcome letters to make sure they help us to have good conversations about what children say is special about them quickly.

Our work with the Family Justice Young People’s Board helps us to understand the best ways of working with children with disabilities, encouraging our Family Court Advisers to make use of resources such as their top tips. Our National Improvement Service is developing resources to help us support parents, and resources for our Family Court Advisers to use when identifying the needs of, and supporting, children with disabilities.

Cafcass is also a Disability Confident Employer, which means we are committed to championing and supporting our colleagues with disabilities, and to employing, training, retraining and developing the careers of disabled people.

Our senior leaders continue to listen to and engage directly with the experiences of our colleagues with disabilities, by inviting the Chair of our Ability Matters staff diversity network to explore this with leaders directly and on a regular basis.

Chief Executive Jacky Tiotto said:

“It is important to recognise, celebrate and support the experiences that make each one of us unique, especially if what makes us unique is how we live with, adapt and manage our disability. This is especially true of the children and families with whom we work, because disability touches all aspects of a child’s life as well as that of their family and friends. It is our responsibility to recognise and understand this impact, not to make assumptions but to be interested and curious about how any disability does or doesn’t influence the hopes that a child has for their future. We will build on our work with the Family Justice Young People’s Board and our colleagues, to make sure disability is considered in every step of a child’s journey with Cafcass.”

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