Cafcass launches new policy to support working carers
Cafcass has launched a new policy to formalise support for employees who are working carers. The Cafcass Working Carers Policy includes a range of different support measures available for working carers at Cafcass, including up to five days paid leave per year.
The policy has been developed with the support of Cafcass’ Carers Diversity Network, who have helped senior leaders to identify the additional support needed by sharing their own experiences as working carers.
The policy launched during Carers Week, is an opportunity for us to recognise the experiences and contributions of carers. During this week we are also sharing the story of a member of the Family Justice Young People’s Board, as well as useful resources to inform excellent social work practice.
In response to the launch of the Carers policy, senior leaders at Cafcass said:
“As leaders we have been listening closely to the experiences of working carers at Cafcass.. It’s clear that the pandemic has increased the pressure and impact that being a carer has on all aspects of an individual’s life – especially their working life.
“Even as we move out of lockdown and external support services become more readily available, we understand the need to make support for working carers a clear and permanent part of our offer to colleagues.
“We hope that by formalising our existing support within this Carers Policy, we can encourage all working carers at Cafcass to seek the support they need. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this policy and to raising awareness of the experiences of working carers.
“Our immediate next priority is to learn more about the support we can and want to offer to young carers whose lives we touch at Cafcass. It is estimated that there are over 800 000 children in the UK aged between 5 and 17 and who have caring responsibilities for an adult in their household. Their lives are tough. They are often bullied at school and are twice as likely to miss out on education. If they are additionally involved in family proceedings, they will need additional support from us and we intend to offer it!”
The Chair of the Carers Diversity Network said:
“Over the last few years, the Carers Network has grown and supported a range of staff and students in many different ways. I am delighted that we have been able to help develop the first Cafcass Carers Policy.
“We want to make this policy more than just words in a document, so we have also helped to develop training to accompany the policy, hopefully to every member of staff. This means that if ever someone says ‘who cares for the Carers?’ we can say ‘everyone at Cafcass does.’”