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Cafcass celebrates Disability History Month 2021


Cafcass is celebrating Disability History Month 2021 and thinking about the ways in which disability and different abilities influence our work with children, families and colleagues.

We are committed to providing a service that meets the needs of children, young people and their families who may have disabilities. We continue to use the values in our new practice framework, Together with children and families, to learn more about what children define as unique to them and how this influences our recommendations to the family court.

Our work with the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) also continues to support children and young people with disabilities. The FJYPB’s top tips on working with children and young people with a disability, and working with children with autism, continue to be an invaluable resource for our family court advisers and are available on our website.

Working with the FJYPB has also led to improvements in our recording of diversity to enhance our understanding of the characteristics of the children and families with whom we work. Better data and insight, used well, is one of our recently published organisational objectives for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Cafcass. As we continue to develop our new strategy based on these objectives, we are considering how the needs of children, families and colleagues with disabilities should inform the strategy.

Cafcass also continues to be a Disability Confident Leader, committed to championing and supporting our colleagues with disabilities. Our staff network Ability Matters provides peer support and a safe space for colleagues with disabilities, supported by our National Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Chief Executive, Jacky Tiotto said:

“In our work with children and families we are trying hard to understand how disability and special abilities affect the proceedings that are about them. We want to write stronger reports that describe more clearly their lived experiences and connect those to our understanding, analyses and observations.  It is a privilege to be thinking about and taking part in Disability History Month and I hope the events, discussions and learning really enable us to learn and to become more expert in understanding and celebrating the realities, the joys and the challenges of living with a disability or special ability.”