Cafcass publishes its Equality Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2022-25
Following publication in October 2021 of Cafcass’ equality, diversity and inclusion objectives, Cafcass has today published its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2022-25.
Celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of every child and family supported by Cafcass, lies at the heart of what it does. Its approach to equality, diversity and inclusion – as outlined in its Strategy - is therefore a crucial component of its work.
The Strategy is designed to guide Cafcass’ work as its work in this area continues to evolve. It is an attempt to set out the organisation’s immediate priorities in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as to signal its ambitions for the future. The priority actions include:
- ensuring that the options offered to children, families and staff for telling Cafcass about their protected characteristics and other aspects of their identity that are important to them are sensitively asked and meaningful;
- developing and testing the use of local diversity data to explore the gap between community profiles and Cafcass’ caseload and staffing profiles – focusing initially on heritage and faith – and identifying what action should be taken to address disparities;
ensuring that the options offered to children, families and staff for telling Cafcass about their protected characteristics and other aspects of their identity that are important to them are sensitively asked and meaningful;
- strengthening Cafcass’ response to feedback from children by reviewing a sample of children’s responses to introductory letters every month, to collate the learning themes and to devise a service area action plan in response;
- gaining a better understanding of and improving the experience of employees at Cafcass and recognising the uniqueness of colleagues by openly discussing the experiences, hopes and fears of staff in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion at Cafcass. The plan includes providing opportunities for colleagues across the workforce to be involved in shaping and supporting our work in this area;
- reviewing and updating approaches to reflective supervision, practice observations, Practice Learning Reviews and case audits to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is a consistent priority within them; and
- adopting a proactive approach to seeking feedback from children and families and using it to ensure the support provided promotes the value of diversity and uniqueness.
Cafcass Board member and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead, Rohan Sivanandan, said:
“Seeing the world through a child's perspective is both a privilege and a fundamental necessity for the work we do. We truly value the importance of understanding the different perspectives of children and families and appreciate that this requires us to behave with humility, humanity, openness and respect. Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, underpinned by our action plan, embraces these values and seeks to identify how we will express them in practice. We want to challenge ourselves to do our best and do better still, so our strategy is intended to be a live document - dynamic and open to question, change and evolution. We want to be relentless in our pursuit of recognising each child’s uniqueness, in equipping our staff to recognise and celebrate this, and to be in service of their difference.”
Cafcass Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Resources, Julie Brown, said:
“In every conversation Cafcass practitioners have with a child or young person they ask, ‘what is special and unique for this child?’, they explore the impact of this uniqueness and diversity and explore this by asking the child to speak about it in their own words. The goals outlined in our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy are deliberately challenging. They demonstrate our commitment to Cafcass as a truly diverse employer and they will ensure that we are focused on the uniqueness of every child and family with whom we work. This is only a beginning, but I am sure that the collective and individual commitment we have here at Cafcass can bring about positive change for the children and families we serve.”
You can read the full Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy here
Notes to Editors
Cafcass independently advises the family courts in England about what is safe for children and in their best interests. It supports over 140,000 children every year by understanding their experiences and speaking up for them when the family court makes critical decisions about their futures.