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Cafcass celebrates LGBT+ history month


This month we are celebrating the LGBT+ community and reflecting on the ways we work with LGBT+ children, young people, families and carers and how we support and learn alongside our staff.

In our most recent annual report we highlighted how we record gender to enable children and young people to tell us if they prefer to identify as being gender neutral, non-binary or transgender in addition to preferring not to say. We think this is evidence of our continuing commitment to learn from and respond to what children and adults say is important about their uniqueness and identity.

We are also working towards creating a workplace where all staff feel able to talk to their colleagues about their differences and uniqueness. During LGBT+ history month, our colleagues will be encouraged to discuss with their team the importance of having these conversations with children and families and trying to understand whether, for example, our introductory letters offer a clear enough opportunity for children to describe their uniqueness and what they would like us to consider as we try to understand their lives.

We have also worked closely with members of our Pride (LGBT+) network to demonstrate our commitment to transgender and non-binary children, young people and families, and to each other.

In 2022 and beyond, our work to support the LGBT+ community will be guided by our recently published Equality, Diversity and Inclusion objectives and the needs of the LGBT+ children, families and colleagues with whom we work.

Cafcass Chief Executive Jacky Tiotto said:

“Children tell us repeatedly how important it is that we understand what makes them unique, how this affects their experiences in their families and what they would like us to make sure we include in our reports to the family courts. This remains rightly a very important priority in our strategic plan and our improvement work.

“Our practice framework Together with children and families was introduced last September and has at its heart, a core value about understanding what children want to tell us about what makes them special and unique. We hope the guidance attached to our new framework helps direct the conversations Family Court Advisers have with children and families and those that colleagues have with each other.

“We want every child and young person, and every person working at Cafcass, to feel understood and treated respectfully. I hope that active listening with children and with guidance from our Pride network and LGBT+ community, we feel like an accepting, forward thinking and responsive organisation.”

Chair of the Cafcass Pride diversity network, Susie Blamire said:

“The Pride network of LGBT+ staff and allies are pleased to be working at Cafcass to celebrate LGBT+ history month in February.  We are proud of our achievements over the past year, which have included working with Cafcass’ National Improvement Service on training materials to upskill staff in talking to young people about all aspects of their diversity, including their sexuality and gender identity and supporting the organisation to adopt a clear statement about trans inclusion and support.  We have recruited a new vice chair and also trans and bi reps for the network to ensure that our approach is as inclusive as possible.”