Napo has worked alongside Cafcass in the production and refinement of the suite of policies and guidance that have been made available to Cafcass staff. While many of our suggested amendments have been incorporated into the documents issued by Cafcass, there remains some matters that in our opinion have not been appropriately addressed. Consequently, we are offering this additional guidance, which should be read alongside the Cafcass documents, to assist members to remain safe at work.
We remind members that their right to a safe working environment is enshrined in legislation and no one is obliged to work in an unsafe working environment. (sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act are attached.
Napo has shared our additional Health and Safety guidance with Cafcass and they have provided the following comments which they feel would be helpful for us to share with our members:
"The individual risk assessment doesn’t explicitly include a check box for staff to identify if they have a member of their household in a vulnerable group, but this should be brought to the attention of the line manager. The individual risk assessment includes in the introduction reference to current government guidance on vulnerable groups and shielding (including members of household) so is important to read that before completing the assessment:"
"In relation to any additional risks due to service user behaviour then this should be identified as part of the assessment process before completing direct work. Existing risk assessments and guidance about risk of violent or aggressive behaviour are still relevant. This includes guidance on managing unacceptable behaviour and personal safety and lone working which can be found on the Cafcass intranet under health and safety guidance."
"In relation to sharing/using a laptop with a child as part of direct work then this should be avoided, or screen/keyboard wiped clean after use. This will be added to Cafcass' advice on the use of equipment during direct work".