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Cafcass shares its inclusion practices for National Inclusion Week 2021


National Inclusion Week is dedicated to celebrating and acting on workplace inclusion. This year, we mark National Inclusion Week 2021 by reflecting on the actions we have taken towards making Cafcass a more inclusive place to work.

Cafcass has signed the Mindful Employer Charter, a charter for employers who are positive about mental health. This means that as an employer, we have made an on-going commitment to provide non-judgmental and proactive support to staff experiencing problems with their mental health, to not make assumptions about a person with mental health and to be supportive about enabling and employing those with a mental health condition at application stage.

Unique to Cafcass are the six internal staff diversity networks: Pride (LGBT+), Faith, Carers, Kaleidoscope (Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic community), Mental Health, and Ability Matters. Each diversity network provides the opportunity for colleagues to support each other and help shape and inform policy and best practice.

The overall aims of the diversity networks are to provide a space for staff to support each other, give a collective voice on issues, be a consultee for people and practice related diversity issues relevant to the network and to support the development and implementation of Cafcass’ equality, diversity and inclusion strategy.

This year our Carers network supported the launch of our new policy to formalise support for employees who are working carers. The Cafcass Working Carers Policy includes a range of different support measures and was developed with the feedback of our Carers network, who have helped senior leaders to identify the additional support needed by sharing their own experiences as working carers. Support measures include up to five days paid leave per year for working carers.

Katrina Igbinovia, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead said:

“National Inclusion Week offers a great opportunity for us to reflect on the values underpinning our new practice framework Together with children and families, and how we are putting these into action within our workplace. This includes focusing on the way in which we respect and value the uniqueness of each of our colleagues. In partnership with the Family Justice Young People’s Board, staff diversity networks, diversity champions and other key partners we continue to drive progress towards equality and inclusion for all.”

Julie Brown, Director of Resources and Strategic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion said:

“Ensuring that Cafcass is the most inclusive workplace that it can be is an ongoing process. We have been listening to our colleagues about what is important to their identity and how we can best support them. National Inclusion Week is a time to celebrate and empower our workforce to share their unique and valuable perspectives about inclusivity. We are proud that we champion this ethos and our diverse workforce throughout the year and through our collaboration with our staff diversity networks.”