Our recruitment process
Cafcass is passionate about providing a quality service to vulnerable children and families. So it won’t surprise you that we want to recruit people who share our passion and commitment. Our recruitment processes, as well as being fair to all, are designed to help your passion, skill and expertise come to the fore.
We see the recruitment process as very much two-way. Not only do we want to ensure we recruit the right individuals but you also want to be confident that joining Cafcass is the right challenge for you professionally and personally.
Applying for roles and completing your application
Once you’ve found a role that interests you on our search and apply page – you can search using keywords (e.g. social worker) or if you want to have a more targeted search you can refine it by location and/or discipline – you will also be able to access the formal job description and person specification before applying. This is alongside other documents we think you might like or need to see to help you decide about applying.
For some of our roles, particularly social work roles, we have very specific requirements around number of years’ experience, registration, qualifications, etc. all of which is detailed in our job description as well as the adverts.
Do take some time to read these documents as they help you gain some appreciation of what the role will entail and what we’re looking for in the successful candidate(s). This will also help you to make sure that you have updated and tailored your CV as best as you can to reflect your suitability for the role and similarly, might give you some ideas in what to include in a supporting statement.
Where possible, in our adverts we try and indicate timescales and steps for the recruitment process. Please note these as while we try and be flexible, it is not always possible for us to change the timescales for individual applicants.
While we have purposefully made the application process as quick and easy as we can, this does not mean it is something that you should hurry. While you should be mindful of the closing date, it is better to take a bit extra time to really showcase what you can bring to the role.
To complete your application you will need to create and verify an account. If you have a Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus account you can use this to quicken the process further or simply use your email address. As part of your application you can also set up email alerts so that you can automatically be informed of other opportunities with Cafcass that might interest you.
Our application process includes a range of Equal Opportunities questions. While these are not mandatory, we do appreciate candidates taking an extra couple of minutes to answer these.
Our assessment process
After we receive your application, following the closing date, we complete an initial review to ensure you meet the minimum criteria for the role before passing it to the recruiting panel for shortlisting. We will then be in touch to let you know if and how we’re progressing your application.
We use a variety of assessment methods including telephone interviews, online assessment exercises and panel interviews. We will provide further information on which methods we’re using and timescales when we get in touch.
Our initial offer and pre-employment checks
If you are successful in your application, assessment and interview, we will send you an offer which will be subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks. Our pre-employment checks consist of the following:
References, qualifications and professional memberships
On your application, you will need to provide two referees that will cover a minimum three-year employment period, one of which must be your current or most recent line manager. If you have just left full-time education, one of your referees could be your course tutor. Please ensure that you gain your referees permission before you put their details on your application form. We will not contact your referees without your permission.
If you are shortlisted and invited to a panel interview, you will need to provide original documents to show any qualifications, professional memberships and registrations that we require for the role you have applied for.
If you are offered a role with us, you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and we may ask you to attend a medical assessment to ensure you are fit to carry out the duties of the post.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure
As you will be working closely with children and young people in a position of trust, most of our roles require a satisfactory Enhanced DBS Disclosure before your employment can start with us. If you are invited to a panel interview, we will give you full details of the DBS process. We comply fully with the DBS Code of Practice and will not discriminate unfairly against anyone on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.
Once your pre-employment checks are completed, we will make arrangements for you to start and to welcome you to Cafcass.
Social Work Talent Pool
If you are looking for a social work role but we aren’t currently advertising a role that interests you, you instead can apply to our talent pool and we will contact you if a suitable vacancy occurs.
Go to our vacancy page and search ‘Talent Pool’.
Hints and tips
- Read any supporting documents such as job description and person specification.
- Be aware of and ensure you meet any minimum eligibility criteria (e.g. qualifications and professional registration) before applying.
- Make sure that you complete all relevant sections of the application.
- Take some time to update and tailor your CV to the role.
- Note the closing date for applications as you will not be able to apply after this date.
- Tell us about your skills and experience and why you are interested in joining Cafcass.
- Be honest – make sure that the information you provide is accurate.
- Tell us about any requirements or reasonable adjustments that you need to fully participate in the selection process.
- Leave gaps in your employment history. If you have had any gaps in your employment, please include a short explanation.
- Leave out any relevant experience, even if this has been gained in voluntary or unpaid work – it may be important to the role you are applying for.
- Worry if your qualifications have been gained abroad. Include them in your application and we’ll check out whether they are relevant.
If you are not successful but would like constructive feedback on your performance during the recruitment and selection process, please ask. We also welcome your opinion and feedback on our recruitment process, including written materials and online guidance.