Guardianship: Domestic Abuse

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 22nd February 2021.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what training court and children’s guardians are required to undertake on identifying, understanding and responding to domestic abuse.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Children’s guardians provided by Cafcass are all qualified social workers with at least three years’ post-qualifying experience. All Cafcass practitioners receive training in assessing domestic abuse and have access to learning packages and programmes developed in collaboration with organisations with specialist knowledge of domestic abuse, including a learning package on coercive and controlling behaviours.

Cafcass has a domestic abuse practice pathway which brings together the range of tools practitioners use for identifying domestic abuse, assessing its impact, and making recommendations to the court about programmes to address perpetrator behaviour. Cafcass has recently reviewed the pathway, working alongside partners including organisations that work with parents with lived experience of the family courts, and will roll out updated training for all its staff in the next year. This training will take account of recommendations from Cafcass’s Learning and Improvement Board, which draws on the findings of the MoJ Expert Panel on Harm in the Family Courts.

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