To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how often Cafcass professionals undergo mandatory specialist training on domestic abuse.
Cafcass provides all social work staff who join with specialist training on domestic abuse. Cafcass has a range of tools for identifying domestic abuse, assessing its impact and making recommendations to the court about programmes to address perpetrator behaviour and the implications for child arrangements.
Guidance and programmes have been developed in collaboration with a range of organisations with specialist knowledge of domestic abuse. In addition to training, Cafcass has: monthly ‘Learning and Development Bulletins’ highlighting recent learning; ‘knowledge alerts’ that are shared when new practices are in place; ‘development days’ for teams on relevant topics; eLearning (via Cafcass’ eLearning platform which includes learning specific to domestic abuse) and; the Cafcass Library which provides up-to-date information.
Cafcass has recently made several commitments to improve training around domestic abuse. Cafcass has commissioned additional training from Barnardo’s on the domestic violence risk identification matrix tool, with a view to considering how this material can complement the Cafcass domestic abuse pathway. Cafcass also works closely with Respect on best practice for working with perpetrators as part of national commissioning of perpetrator programmes.