Workers in the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) carry out essential work assisting parties involved in traumatic family breakdowns. Their efforts in public and private law proceedings make a critical difference to parental relationships and the lives of children who are caught in the crossfire of these conflicts.
As an arms-length body within the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, members of Napo and UNISON have seen their real terms pay massively reduced over the tenure of this government. CAFCASS recruits from local authority social work teams whose pay increases have outstripped those of Cafcass staff in recent years. The result has been more staff leaving CAFCASS for other social work roles, which undermines the stability and effectiveness of the organisation.
The fact that CAFCASS can maintain its operations at all in the face of the demands placed upon it, is acknowledged by senior management and is solely down to the fact that most staff members work unrewarded, above and beyond their contracted hours, to support children who face huge upheavals in their experience of family life.
Congress supports the joint union campaign to see CAFCASS removed from the centralised control of the MoJ. The General Council are asked to lobby the Labour Party to clearly commit a future Labour government to remove CAFCASS from the strictures of the Civil Service Pay Remit which is effectively a restraint on our member’s trade.