Guardians’ warning over inexperience

A group of self-employed children’s guardians has told MPs that the
quality and standard of employed children’s guardians has fallen
since the establishment of the Children’s and Family Courts
Advisory and Support Service.

While giving evidence this week to the inquiry into Cafcass by the
Committee on the Lord Chancellor’s Department, Nagalro
representatives said they were concerned that newly employed
guardians were poorly trained and lacked social work

Children’s guardian Carol Edwards said the requirement for new
Cafcass guardians’ child protection experience had been reduced to
three years from the five years pre-Cafcass. “This is jot a job for
recently qualified people: it’s for senior social workers which
requires long-term child protection experience,” she said.

Edwards added that Cafcass’s support structures for new
practitioners, many of whom came from a non-social work background,
were “fragile and poorly organised”.

Nagalro chairperson, Alison Paddle, said the new practitioners
lacked clarity over the exact nature of the guardian role, how
organisations worked and the way to use the system.

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