Napo Magazine - The Trade Union, Professional Association and campaigning organisation for Probation and Family Court staff news.

Family Court Section update June 2022

Please find our newsletter updating you on the latest news. If you have any queries or comments or useful information, please share this with your office contact or come to a members’ meeting.

First in person Family Court Section’s Executive Committee (SEC) meeting since January 2020!!

The first in person Family Court SEC meeting, since the Covid-19 pandemic, was held on the 22.05.22 in London.

We said goodbye, for now, to Peter Brooks and Sue Hassall who are retiring from Cafcass. We paid tribute to their tireless service on the Family Court SEC and for all their activism over the many years that they have been Napo members. Further thanks were given to Peter and Sue by Ian Lawrence, General Secretary, who joined the meeting virtually to provide an update on the joint pay claim with Unison and the recent Trade Unions’ Partnership Meeting with Cafcass, which took place on the 23.05.22.

We apologise that we have been remiss in not sharing the agenda for SEC meetings in advance but we will commit to doing so now.

Any member can attend or propose agenda items or motions for SEC meetings. The next SEC meeting is scheduled for the 09.08.22. Please contact the Family Court Section’s Co-Chairs, Nicki Kenney and Steve Hornby, for further information.

The Family Court Section’s constitution can be found on the Napo website.

Trade Unions’ Partnership meeting with Cafcass- headlines from the meeting held on the 23rd May 2022.

Your Napo representatives take a very active part in these meeting by raising and discussing the important issues that have been identified by members.

Napo has submitted our joint pay claim with Unison for 2022/2023 to Cafcass. We are presently in negotiations with Cafcass. At this time, these discussions remain confidential, but we will update you as soon as we can.

At the Partnership meeting, we had discussions on workloads, recruitment and retention, the proposal to establish a Career and Qualification Pathway, the role, function and potential career opportunities within the National Improvement Service and an update on the Transparency Implementation Group.

Our next Partnership meeting with Cafcass is scheduled for the 21.07.22. Napo has submitted agenda items for discussion in relation to workloads, the prevalence and impact of re-timetabling on the individual FCA and the organisation, Covid-19 and the rising infection rates and the response to the Flexible Working Policy. We will also continue our discussions in relation to the proposal for a Career and Qualification Pathway. Please come to our next members’ meeting on the 26.07.22 at 5.00pm to hear the outcome of our discussions.

If you have a topic you wish for your Napo representatives to raise at the next Partnership meeting in October, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Office Contacts and Napo visibility

What’s your Trade Union noticeboard looking like? Do you have a Family Court Section Office Contact? We seek to have a “go to” person in each office and if yours does not have one, please offer.

There will be promotional goodies sent out shortly to Office Contacts to support recruitment of new members.

Health & Safety

Almost all Cafcass offices were recently inspected following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and re-opening of offices.

Trade Union appointed Health & Safety reps are invited to join and we attended a good number representing the interests of both members and non-members, raising issues such as poor lighting to broken lifts.

We have recently recruited and approved the appointment of new Health & Safety reps in some offices who will receive training and be involved in future inspections. It’s not too late to volunteer to represent your workplace and the training has not yet taken place.  The role is protected in law and is one area in which significant improvements can be made for staff.

If you or a colleague is experiencing work related stress, please read Napo’s guidance which provides advice and support on how to start to address the issue. This can be found at:

Young Members’ Network

There is currently a Napo Young Members’ network being set up.  Further information can be provided by Adam Harmsworth, Family Court Section’s Membership Secretary and Napo HQ. There will be an in-person event on the 11th-12th May 2023. Look out for further details.

Retired Members’ Network

This has recently formed, and our previous National Vice-Chair, Tony Mercer, is an active member.

Tony attended the first Conference that took place on the 01.06.22.

If you are retiring soon, please let us know and we can send you information about the retired members’ network.

“We said goodbye for now to Peter Brooks and Sue Hassall, and paid tribute to their tireless service on the Family Court Section( FCS) Exec.”

Edridge Fund

The Edridge Fund exists to provide money, help and support to people in need in the Probation and Family Court Services. Eligibility to benefit from the Edridge Fund extends to anyone in the Probation Service or Family Courts Service who is eligible to be a member of Napo and their dependents. This includes retired staff. For further information or to make an application for assistance please visit their website at

We would like to organise a social event to raise funds for Edridge. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Police Credit Union membership

This is open to all Napo members for flexible savings and affordable loans. For more information about becoming a member visit

Members’ meetings

Members’ meetings take place via Teams on alternate months on Tuesdays at 5pm. (The next meeting is on Tuesday 26 July 5-5.45pm). Look out for separate invites.

We seek to gather worries and concerns from members and share information from our negotiations and liaison with Senior Cafcass Leadership.

Please remember that union members may consult Napo about any employment related matter, and it is always better to reach out and speak to us as the earliest opportunity. In the first instance, please contact Nicki Kenney, Steve Hornby and Nicola Taylor-Ebong, National Vice-Chair (Family Court Section).

SAVE THE DATE– Family Court Section AGM (SAGM) on 06 October 2022 at 1pm at the People’s History Museum, Manchester

SAGM is where we elect members to various positions on the Section Executive committee who run the Section or Branch between AGMs. As members you can stand for a post and you can vote to elect the SAGM members.

There will be a professional slot as well as the election of the committee and other business including any motions for debate. It is an interesting opportunity to get to know your section (branch). Further information to follow.

National AGM 13th – 15th  October 2022 at the Floral Hall in Eastbourne (attend in person or online)

This is where policy and action for the forthcoming year for Napo is formed.

Napo is unique in that this is not a delegate conference, and every member can attend and vote on a variety of issues.

There are always professional/trade union/parliamentary speakers on topical issues.

Details of accommodation in Eastbourne to follow.

Members attending are supported financially by the Section.

It’s a great way to get involved and have some fun with your trade union colleagues.

Why not make 2022 your first year at Napo AGM? We look forward to seeing you there!

See the Napo website for more details!

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