Working for Cafcass
Our role in working with children, young people and families and the family justice system is unique – there is no other organisation that fulfils the role we do.
As a national organisation, our teams often work from multiple offices, which requires self-discipline and focus. For our frontline colleagues, they will spend much of their time in a variety of settings including court, schools, families homes, their local Cafcass office as well as working from their own home.
We are committed to ensuring that our staff are able to work in a healthy environment that promotes work-life balance, flexibility and self-care. We offer a range of rewards and benefits to help all staff members succeed both at work and at home. This holistic approach supports staff to achieve high attendance and to maximise their capabilities to make lasting and positive differences to the children and families we work with.
Find out how we support Cafcass staff in their health and wellbeing:
The information provides an overview of what it is like working at Cafcass, including information on:
- Health and wellbeing
- Rewards and benefits
- Learning and development
- Work and life balance
Health and wellbeing
Wellbeing support is embedded within our organisational culture and has contributed to the organisation being able to successfully manage large increases in demands for our services over recent years.
Although we are proud of our health and wellbeing offer, and the positive impact it has had, we are also committed to ensuring that the support continues to meet the needs of our employees, mitigates potential threats to health and remains sector leading.
Health and wellbeing team
Our specialist award-winning Health and Wellbeing team is responsible for the strategic planning, development, delivery and evaluation of all the health and wellbeing support within the organisation. Their holistic model incorporates five key areas of wellbeing: physical, mental/emotional, social, financial and environmental.
External partner services
The Employee Assistance Programme is a telephone advice line that is available 24 hours per day 365 days a year where staff can obtain support for a host of health-related issues and conditions. This resourced by experienced, non-judgmental BACP accredited counsellors, who will provide complete peace of mind, providing advice, triage and counselling services.
Employee Health Plan
All Cafcass staff have access to optical, dental, complimentary therapies such as physiotherapy, orthopaedic care and reflexology, as well as money off diagnostic scans, prescriptions and private consultations.
Cafcass has a contract with an external provider to provide occupational health services for those with medical conditions or who are absent from work due to a health-related issue. All the Occupational Health Advisors (OHA) and Occupational Health Physicians (OHP) are qualified registered practitioners.
Digital financial advisor
All staff have access to an online digital financial advisor which can help with all money-related matters from building up savings, finding the right mortgage, managing debt, pension savings, and so much more.
Health and Wellbeing Champions
We have a dedicated network of volunteer Health & Wellbeing Champions. Their role is to help build a supportive work environment that empowers and enables employees to achieve optimal physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
The diversity networks aim to provide the opportunity for colleagues to support each other and help shape and inform best practice. These include: Carers, Mental Health, Pride, Kaleidoscope (Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups), Ability Matters (disability), Faith.
Dementia Friends – staff who have attended a workshop to understand more about dementia and how to better support those affected.
Cancer Buddies – staff who have attended a workshop with MacMillan to better understand how to support staff who have been affected by cancer either directly or indirectly.
Domestic Abuse Support Colleagues – staff who are trained to recognise, respond and refer colleagues who are or have experienced domestic abuse.
Sustainability group – their aim is to promote values of environmentally sustainable development and corporate social responsibility to inform, inspire and find solutions to some of the challenges we all face.
1:1 Support Service: The 1:1 Support Service is a self-referral resource offered to staff who want/need tailored, expert health and wellbeing advice and guidance.
Bespoke workshops and training: to ensure that the diverse and changing health needs of the workforce can be met, when a health need has been identified, a training package will be developed and delivered through the appropriate channels. For example, throughout the pandemic, training on topics relating to the impact of Covid-19 were delivered, this included financial health, successfully managing remote working teams and adjusting to the “new normal”.
We also offer a continual ‘Schedule of support’ for staff. This includes a series of workshops, webinars and drop-in sessions to support the wellbeing of our staff. Sessions include guided meditations, seated stretch sessions, keeping mentally well webinars and compassion fatigue workshops.
Health Research: The health and wellbeing team gain insights through conducting specific research projects and creating a plan of action. For example, an organisational level project looking at identifying the key work and non-work-related stressors at the service area and team levels used quantitative research methods to collect and analyse data. Insights from the data enabled bespoke Area Wellness Action Plans to be created for service areas.
Online Support Channels: To help disseminate health information and provide the means for employees to communicate with the health and wellbeing team, health champions and each other we have created a ‘Healthy Working’ Teams Channel to share hints and tips and useful resources with staff.
Dedicated health and wellbeing intranet page
All of the resources we create are available on our easy to navigate intranet page, which is subdivided into relevant categories, these include: physical health (nutrition resources, sleep resources and eLearning, Physical activity resources, information on quitting smoking and alcohol cessation), mental health (including a stress management guide, stress management toolkit, support for eating disorders, suicide prevention, bereavement and a mindfulness eLearning), health conditions (including cancer, the menopause, dyslexia, dementia and eating disorders).
Rewards and benefits
We believe our total benefits package is among the best in the sector. We offer a very competitive salary, including London weighting where applicable, and excellent annual leave benefits. In addition, we offer access to a range of benefits including the below.
In addition to Bank Holidays, staff are entitled to 28 days holiday per annum (our holiday year is April to March), of which 3 days are reserved for the period between Christmas and New Year. Once you have 5 years’ continuous service this increases to 33 days.
We encourage staff to make full use of their annual leave. It is important that everyone has time away from work as we know this is vital to Health and Wellbeing and also helps ensure staff feel more focussed and productive at work.
Employees are automatically enrolled into a Local Government Pension Scheme through the West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF). Employee contribution rates vary from 5.5% to 12.5% of salary depending on your earnings. If you chose to join the scheme we will make an additional 19.4% employer contribution.
If you join us direct from a ‘related employer’ (i.e. a Local Authority or Central Government department), we will recognise your prior service from that employer and also any relevant qualifying service from other previous employers as long as there is no more than 7 days gap between you leaving your current employer and commencing with Cafcass.
The potential benefits of this include being entitled to 33 days annual leave on commencement as well as enhanced maternity / paternity pay.
Health and wellbeing plan
Our ‘Health and wellbeing plan’ provides access to eye and dental care, physiotherapy, discounted gym membership, annual health checks, consultations and diagnostic tests. This can also be upgraded to include cover for your partner and/or any children you are responsible for.
Professional membership reimbursement
We currently reimburse Social Work England registration fee costs for all social work practitioners, which will be paid directly into your first payslip.
Childcare voucher scheme
If you are a parent and have parental responsibility for a child living with you aged up to 15 (16 if your child has a disability) you could make savings on childcare costs by using our childcare voucher scheme.
This operates on a salary sacrifice basis, enabling you to receive tax relief on your childcare costs.
Cycle to Work scheme
Staff can access a Cycle to Work scheme to save between 32%-42% on the costs of a bike and accessories, by benefiting from tax savings through salary sacrifice.
We offer a range of discounts for many businesses across the UK. These include dining discounts societies, reductions on Vodafone contracts, rates at Hilton Hotels and savings at supermarkets, high street retailers and online stores.
Employee Assistance Programme
All employees have access to our Employee Assistance Programme, providing independent, free and completely confidential telephone advice and support 24/7. This also covers up to eight face-to-face counselling sessions, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
GAYE - Give As You Earn
We provide the opportunity of making charitable donations each month directly through salary, allowing employees to benefit from tax savings. They can choose to give any amount as either a one-off payment, or a regular debit from salary, which can be cancelled at any time.
Learning and development
Our approach to learning and development is an inclusive one. We take an approach which helps you to use your strengths and provides space for you to continually develop. We enable you to reflect upon and discuss your aspirations and support you to learn and achieve more.
Supervision and Performance and Learning Reviews
At the root of all our development strategies is regular supervision and Performance and Learning Reviews. You help identify your own development needs and we have a range of tools in place to support you in addressing these.
Our online learning platform provides a range of materials that can be accessed at any time. There are modules on a range of topics, from social work practice, to management theory and personal development. Our National Improvement Service and HR teams also run a range of workshops and events, allowing all staff to develop core competencies.
Coaching and mentoring
We’ve developed a Cafcass Coaching Skills programme which combines eLearning with real-life practice. We recognise that some learning is best done one to one, so we have a network of coaches and mentors that can really support your development.
Cafcass run a number of programmes through the year, designed to ensure everyone has the necessary learning and development opportunities:
- Our Emerging Talent programme is aimed at employees with the aspiration to move to a higher graded role within a 24 month period.
- We offer leadership and management development programmes that provide specific development if you are an existing manager or aspire to be one.
- Our Practice Supervisors and Business Services Teams have bespoke development programmes aimed at increasing their professional knowledge and skills.
- We also run Graduate and Apprentice Programmes.
Your work and life balance
We pride ourselves in working flexibly through the use of technology. We work hard to ensure that our staff have the tools to undertake their roles efficiently and effectively.
All of our staff have a laptop or table device and a smart phone. This allows a flexible approach to work. Staff can work from an office, court or home.
We have video-conferencing facilities in many of our office locations. This reduces the need for travel, our FCAs can spend more time is looking after children.
You can request leave, record and submit expenses, view payslips, book onto training courses and much more via our online HR system. This can be used on a computer, tablet or smartphone. This provides complete flexibility as to when you complete these tasks.
ECMS is our electronic case recording system. This means that you can update your files wherever you are. This can be used on computer, tablet or on a forthcoming smartphone app.
Travelling to work
Beyond offering flexible ways of working, we provide interest free season ticket loans for commuter journeys, and a Cycle to Work scheme, which significantly reduces the cost of purchasing a bicycle.