Cafcass' Holistic Health & Wellbeing Strategy: 'Optimising Wellbeing'

Cafcass' Holistic Health and Wellbeing Strategy - 'Optimising wellbeing'

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service |

In 2010 the Public Accounts Committee declared Cafcass ‘not fit for purpose’, in part due to unacceptably high sickness levels. We needed to act quickly to instil a range of strategic and innovative support mechanisms, prioritising the workforce health and helping them achieve work-life balance and develop resilience in the face of emotionally demanding work.

Initial focus was on introducing state of the art technology and remote working to enable significant improvements in flexible working, which brought about a clear reduction in sick days. To complement this, over the last three years, we have implemented a holistic H&W programme; which was helpful with demand for our services increasing by 35% over the last five years. This is the focus of our submission.

Recruitment of three dedicated wellbeing specialists has provided expert support and spearheaded the implementation of a programme of H&W interventions across the organisation. Advice and support is tailored to meet our employees’ individual needs.

As recognised by our 2018 Ofsted inspection, this has created a positive organisational culture of physical and emotional wellbeing, ensuring employees feel valued and supported in and outside of work, despite the high-pressured environment. This positively influences rates of attendance, productivity and performance.