Cafcass launches a new animated video for children and young people involved in family court proceed
Cafcass has today launched a new animated video called ‘Taking me seriously: letting you know how we help’ at a dedicated ‘explainer’ event hosted by the National Business Centre.
The new video has been developed in collaboration with members of the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) – children and young people with direct experience of family court proceedings.
The video explains how Cafcass helps children and young people involved in the family court. It features animated avatars and voices of FJYPB members sharing their recollections of how being involved in court proceedings made them feel. It shows how Cafcass social workers help them understand what is happening in family proceedings, the help children will have to understand what will be recommended to the court, and we hear their positive experiences about having a voice that is heard in the process.
The video and event are the start of a series of engagements over the next year to help explain to families, children and Cafcass partners, our intention to build on the successes of the last few years with a strong and bold ambition to offer exceptional experiences to children and families who come to Cafcass.
Today’s event asks invited attendees from across the family justice system to put themselves in the shoes of children and young people. The event highlights the scope and scale of Cafcass’ work to independently advise the family courts in England about what is safe for children and in their best interests.
Working with over 140,000 children annually whose future is decided by the family courts, Cafcass provides a service that prioritises their safety, their voices and their needs, taking into full account their families and those who are connected to them. Today’s event reminds delegates how important it is to take into account children’s views and best interests when the family court makes life-changing decisions about them.
The services featuring at today’s event include:
- ‘Hear to Listen’: a national freephone service that allows children and young people to explain to Cafcass what it did well and what it could do better; and
- ‘My Cafcass Journey’ – a service designed to improve support for children and young people accessing their personal data held by Cafcass.
Speaking about their involvement in the new video, the following FJYPB members said:
“I really enjoyed helping to make the video, being part of the thinking process made us feel like we had a say in something that reflects many of our experiences. Doing the voiceover was really fun and then seeing the video made me realise how far this video can reach, hopefully to help children and young people who are going through the experiences we did.”
“I personally like the animation and think we’ve done a good job, at providing a real-world experience from a child / young person. The day of the voice recording it was good to see each other doing an amazing job at representing the character.”
"For me, this video meant much more than the voice over. I participated in the creation of it from start to finish. It was an amazing experience and I feel honoured to be able to help families understand what family court is, and who Cafcass are"
Speaking about the event and the launch of the video, Cafcass Chief Executive, Jacky Tiotto, said:
“Despite all the challenges that persist in the family justice system, we are determined to keep doing more and better for children and their families during a very difficult and frightening time in their lives. Explaining how we are intending to make further improvements and why, is a really important part of our ambition as a partner in this system. I want us to excite everyone and to ask every day, what more can we do and to be brave and energetic in doing those things. The video series – Taking me seriously – is just the start and its brilliant!
Another central and important part of what we want to do is to make sure that families and children in particular understand what we are saying to the family court about what we think is safe and in their best interests. Our family court advisers and all of us who work at Cafcass have the privilege of making relationships with children to inform the very important decisions made by the family court. Our intention is that every time and for all children, they hear why we are making our recommendations and they have a chance to have their thoughts about them included in our reports. This is just one example of our ambitious commitment to be informed and led by what children tell us matters to them.
My fantastic colleagues are doing so much everyday to make our bold ambitions a reality and this event, is a chance for us to make some noise about it. Thank you to everyone – as I always say at these events - your energy, passion and commitment to be in relationships that matter, is what is making the change possible.”
We will be providing updates from today’s event on our social media channels. Please share our new video.