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Equality, diversity and inclusion

A man smiles and talks to a young girl who is playing with a toy

These webpages contain information about our work to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) within everything we do and in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. 

This information is important to children and families, because it explains our commitment to ensuring equality of access to our services, irrespective of their race, their gender or any of their other characteristics. ED&I is vital to ensure that we provide a service which responds to the needs of all the unique children, young people and families with whom we work. 

This information is important to us because it outlines our aims and objectives in relation to ED&I and sets out how we plan to achieve them. It is also important because it covers our equally strong commitment to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who works at Cafcass. 

On this page, you can read about our commitment to ED&I, our ED&I objectives and priorities, and our current ED&I strategy. Also in this section of our website, you can find out more about our staff diversity networks and our gender pay reporting. 

Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

We are working with some of the most vulnerable children and families, during periods of great difficulty and upheaval in their lives. Every child is unique and every child matters. Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work focuses on developing a good understanding of the children and families with whom we work, our role as an inclusive employer, and our work to encourage and support staff diversity throughout our organisation. 

In addition, offering a supportive and inclusive working environment for our staff, drawing on a broad range of talent and striving to represent the diversity of the children and young people we are working with, is likely to lead to a more confident workforce and better-informed decision making.

Cafcass is committed to providing an inclusive working environment in which all transgender, non-binary and intersex people feel valued, included and respected. Read our full statement on our commitment to transgender (trans) and non-binary inclusion.

Our strategic objectives for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Our strategic objectives regarding equality, diversity and inclusion are outlined below. These objectives helped inform our full ED&I strategy, which we first published in July 2022. The strategy explains how we intend to meet these objectives. 

  • Better data and insight, used well

We will increase the proportion of children, families and employees for whom we capture information about their protected characteristics and publish analyses of that information to show whether there are disparities in their experience of us as a service provider or employer, and what action we have taken as a result.

  • Leadership and commitment

We would expect all leaders and managers to be inclusive in their behaviours and styles of leadership. This means respecting the uniqueness of colleagues, ruling out discrimination based on protected characteristics and enabling everyone to feel that their input is valued. It also means seeking out a range of perspectives on the many issues we face at Cafcass, being ambassadors of diversity and inclusion and their significance in our work, accepting our own vulnerabilities and biases and communicating clearly about the need for listening and discussion to find the best solutions.

  • People, culture, environment

We will improve the recruitment, retention, progression, development and experience of the people who work for us to achieve greater diversity at all levels of the organisation.

  • Skilled and confident practitioners and wider workforce

We will make talking to children and families about race culture and heritage a core competency for all frontline staff – reflected in job descriptions, induction, training, reflective supervision, practice observation, performance learning, and development reviews and case audits. We will also encourage staff at all levels and in all parts of the organisation to talk to their colleagues about race, culture and heritage, to find out about our differences and our uniqueness. Managers will become more competent and confident in talking about these issues in supervision and performance learning reviews.

For more information about working for Cafcass and our commitment to an inclusive workforce, please visit the Working for Us section of our website. This contains information about our:

  • status as a Disability Confident Leader;
  • membership of the Employers’ Initiative in Domestic Abuse (EIDA) scheme; and
  • signature to the Mindful Employer Charter.

Staff diversity networks

We have a number of staff diversity networks 

The purpose of these networks is to encourage staff to share and communicate experiences with one another as well as help shape and inform what we do and how we support our staff. They also contribute to the development of our practice working with children and families, so we are attentive to their unique and diverse backgrounds and experiences. The five networks are as follows:

  • Kaleidoscope (for Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff)
  • Carers
  • Ability Matters (Disability)
  • Mental health
  • Pride (LGBT+)
  • Faith