Best Social Work Employer
As the largest single employer of social workers in England, Cafcass has had its work cut out in ensuring its workforce is both empowered and engaged. But through dedication and creativity, the organisation has made strides forward.
Cafcass’ work to improve the health and wellbeing of its staff group was particularly impressive. Recognising the increasing pressures social workers are under, the organisation introduced an employer-funded health plan. This offers resilience training, access to £900 worth of treatments per person per year, counselling and seminars and one-to-one consultations with health and wellbeing specialists.
In addition, the organisation has cut case bureaucracy by bringing all case files online and creating an ‘eHR’ programme that allows managers to focus on frontline social work, rather than people-related admin. In 2014-15, Cafcass also offered 72 practice placements and set up a ‘placement hub’ for 11 students, demonstrating a clear commitment to the next generation of social work.
The impact these initiatives have had is profound, with the sickness rate among Cafcass social workers reducing by 46% over the last five years and the organistion is providing a more effective service for children. Following the 2014 Oftsed assessment of ‘Outstanding Leadership’, Cafcass is now using its expertise to support other organisations with their transformations.
What was said about Cafcass:
“Cafcass’ nomination really evidenced how the organisation has approached ways of working that enable staff to do their jobs better and feel valued. They focused on things like stress, work/life balance and have taken a whole systems approach and the results show they are making a difference.” - Carol Long, Chief Executive, Young Epilepsy
“What a positive transformation. Cafcass are proud to be ambitious and clearly committed to improving the profession, sector and their organisation.” - Andrew Ellery, AE Social Care and Education Ltd
“Cafcass gave me the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence to be the best practitioner I can be. I aspire to join them as an employee in the future.” - Student social worker
“It’s no exaggeration to say that working at Cafcass has transformed my professional life and I am as happy and proud of my work as I have ever been since qualifying in 2007.” - Family court adviser (Brighton)
- Carol Long, Young Epilepsy
- Jo Cleary
- Andrew Ellery, AE Social Care and Education Ltd
- Joanne Lowe, Adult Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2014
- FosterCare UK
- Family Operations, Essex County Council
- Derbyshire County Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
- Cafcass - GOLD AWARD WINNER