Cafcass celebrates Inter Faith week 2021
Cafcass is celebrating Inter Faith week by exploring the ways in which we support and acknowledge people of different faiths, especially children and families with whom we work.
Our staff faith network invites colleagues from different faiths and spiritualities to come together to support each other and to shape our practice and policies. The network has developed a series of workshops to be delivered throughout the week, focused on how we consider faith in our work with children and families and the role that faith can play in providing support to colleagues and families during difficult times.
As part of our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Cafcass we have been working closely with the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) to understand how our work with children, young people and their families should take account of different faiths.
We recently asked the FJYPB for their advice on working with children and young people of different faiths. One member of the FJYPB suggested that professionals “always be respectful and open minded about different faiths or beliefs… try not to link it with your own faith because you might have misunderstood and that may offend the young person or family without you realising it.”
Another member suggested that professionals in the family justice system “be respectful to the child as they might have different beliefs to yours and try to make them feel comfortable and be kind to them… you can ask them to draw a picture to show what they believe in.”
These contributions have been shared with our colleagues as part of Inter Faith Week 2021.
Chief Executive Jacky Tiotto said:
“Understanding faith and the significance it holds for many people is fundamental to our work with children, their families and carers. The conversations we are having as part of Inter Faith Week, informed by our faith network and the Family Justice Young People’s Board, will add to our knowledge and thinking about how we approach the work we do. As we strive to fulfil our recently published objectives for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, we are considering as leaders, how to bring strong discussion, knowledge sharing moments and the valuing of diverse life experiences into all that we do. I am looking forward to learning this week and reflecting with others. Diversity brings richness every time and these celebrations are so important.”
Chair of our Faith network and Service Manager Louise Jones said:
“Inter Faith Week is dedicated to celebrating the commitment faith groups have to working together to support those most vulnerable in society and renew our commitment to working together for a respectful, just and compassionate society. It’s also a time to reflect on what our faith means to each of us and how important it is to work together with people of other faiths.
“The faith network is for anyone who is part of, or has an interest in faith, both religious and non-religious. Members are passionate not only about their own faith journey, but also learning about other cultures and religions and are dedicated to improving practice and raising awareness about the way we understand children and their families, their uniqueness and their journey.”