Family Court Section round up

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Family Court Section round up

Cafcass Negotiating Committee 

The start of the Napo year bodes well for members in the Family Court Section in that we have a full Cafcass Negotiating Committee.  We have representatives for family court advisers, practice supervisors and service managers, which means that we can speak for all grades of staff in Cafcass.

Booking annual leave 

I have recently sought clarification from Cafcass HR for some staff who were experiencing difficulties booking annual leave and understanding the calculations for leave allowances for part-time staff. If any Cafcass members need information about this issue, please feel free to contact me direct.

Black History Month – At Napo AGM, I attended a fringe meeting linked to diversity. This was the Napo Black Network meeting in which people were invited to share their experiences of being a Black employee in Probation or Cafcass.

The meeting was well attended and conversation and ideas were lively and thoughtful. Members attending were keen for Napo to make more note of special events for BAME members and reminded me and the link official that October is Black history month. There was a view that this was an opportunity to raise the profile and that we should not miss it.

Cafcass had an article on the front page of their intranet today entitled “Black Britain’s Firsts and why they matter this Black History Month”. I have reproduced the article below as it is highly relevant and I am aware that many of us do not have time to read anything extra with our current heavy workloads.

“Black British history, though often forgotten, is seminal to our modern day lives and will continue to hold strong significance as we move towards the future.

This year, to celebrate Black History Month, the Kaleidoscope Diversity Network is choosing to remember the inspiring men and women who paved the way for others by being resilient enough to stand out and achieve amidst racism in an intolerant and divided Britain. Unfortunately, these forgotten pioneers are not as well-known as others who helped to pave the way by fighting for equality. Below are just a few of the pioneering men and women who dared to excel in the face of adversity and deserve to be recognized for their achievements: 

SISLIN FAY ALLEN – Britain’s first black Policewoman

BISHOP WILFRED WOOD – Church of England’s first black Bishop

MARGARET BUSBY – Doyenne of Black British Publishing

FRANK BAILEY – Britain’s first black Firefighter

LILIAN BADER – Leading Aircraft woman during World War 2

JAMES PETERS – Britain’s first black Rugby player

IRA ALDRIDGE – One of the first American British Stage Actors and Playwrights

IGNATIUS SANCHO – Accomplished composer, writer, actor and the first known black British voter

If you’re interested in joining the Kaleidoscope diversity network, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact our Chair at to join today.  More information about Diversity Networks can be found on the Diversity Networks page.”

Napo Black Network is open to both Probation and Cafcass members and is a further source of support and sharing experiences. I have personally been aware of two BAME Napo members leaving Cafcass recently as they have not felt well supported by Cafcass management. I have been aware of others who have been involved in capability or disciplinary proceedings. Sadly, this is not a time to be complacent. We need to stand together.

Jay Barlow
National vice-chair (Family Court Section)

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