Customer story: Cafcass

Cafcass takes no chances with child data by encrypting sensitive emails using Egress.
Published on 31st Oct 2021

Cafcass helps 125,000 vulnerable children and young people each year who are going through the family justice system. Their experienced Family Court Advisers become involved in cases when children are subject to an application for care or supervision proceedings by social services (public law) or in adoption applications (public law). Cafcass also helps when parents who are separating or divorcing cannot agree on arrangements for their children (private law).

The challenge

Jonathan Boshell, IT Change Manager at Cafcass, explains: “Every year Cafcass advocates for over 125,000 children and young people in family courts throughout England. The nature of this work means that we often deal with information that is sensitive and that we wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Measures such as secure postal services have been in place for some time now. However, we are increasingly sending information by email, as this is quicker and more convenient for the families and agencies we work with, and also helps us move towards the government’s Digital by Default Service Standard.

As such, it is crucial that we are able to communicate both securely and electronically with our external recipients who are not in secure email networks. We selected Egress Protect to meet this need.”

“It is crucial that we are able to communicate both securely and electronically with our external recipients who are not in secure email networks. We selected Egress Protect to meet this need.”

Jonathan Boshell, IT Change Manager, Cafcass

The solution

Over 2,000 licences have been deployed across the organisation to ensure that all Cafcass staff can use Egress Protect, with a growing network of registered third-party recipients using the service. Boshell continues: “Egress Protect is the only email encryption product and service with CESG Commercial Product Assurance (CPA) certification and Pan Government Accreditation (PGA). As such, it is the most suitable choice for securing the information classified as OFFICIAL that our Family Courts Advisors (FCAs) need to send. In addition, Egress is free for Cafcass’ recipients to use when communicating with Cafcass employees and is simple to use by entering a password set up by the recipients themselves. As a result, we rolled the service out to all staff members so that any emails containing sensitive information can be sent using Egress Protect.”

Emily Halliday, Information Assurance Officer at Cafcass, explains: “We implemented Egress for all Cafcass users on the same day. As this was a change in how our contacts received information from us, we recognized the importance of raising awareness with both staff and our recipients about how Egress helped us meet our data protection needs to encourage user uptake. When Cafcass emails arrived encrypted, we met with some initial resistance amongst a few recipients. However, once the simplicity of using Egress and its information security benefits had been explained, in addition to the fact that the service is free for them to use, we saw a positive uptake in third-party users.

To support these internal efforts, we have received strong support from Egress to further raise awareness with our third parties and help them with any queries or difficulties.

Kelly McCann, VP of Account Management at Egress, comments: “Cafcass plays a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the UK and we are delighted that Egress Protect is helping to protect the highly sensitive information that needs to be shared as part of this process. In partnership with Cafcass, our Technical Services and Customer Service departments will provide ongoing support to their users through training and educational seminars, which are also integral to promoting the importance of data security to their external third parties. We look forward to continuing to help Cafcass derive these tangible data security benefits, in addition to reducing their reliance on postal services and supporting the Digital by Default initiative.”

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