Putting children and young people first in the family courts

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The importance of resilience

Large employers like BT now regard resilience training as core training for their staff and the level of interest in the public sector is proving just as high: our internal Cafcass course on resilience has attracted record numbers of staff.

This is because employers in every sector realise that character and resilience help with staff heath, wellbeing, productivity and focus. At Cafcass, we are launching our health and wellbeing scheme in April, aiming to support staff more in this way.

Sticking with it when the going gets tough is a sine qua non of all workplaces today, whatever your job, whatever your organisation. Resilience also helps in our everyday lives, which test us all on a daily basis. If that sounds alarmist, it is only meant to emphasise the importance of resilience for those using our service and those providing it, in their lives and in their work.

The biggest resilience issue for Cafcass is to help the children we work with to become more resilient. Often their situation can be improved, but not entirely overcome, at least in the short-term – it is our role to identify the traits and support factors which will bolster resilience in their lives. Resilience for children coming into the care system means resilience against the recurring emotional and psychological consequences of abuse or neglect, which continue on their own timeline even if the child has been made physically safe and is being better cared for. Resilience against continuing conflict is also important. We try our best to understand the positive reinforcers of resilience for an individual child, and to point those out in our advice to courts and to families.

In the year ahead, we will be developing our work on resilience – for children, for families and for staff. One thing is certain, namely that resilience-requiring factors are not going to reduce!

Written by Chief Executive Anthony Douglas at 10:00

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