Standard of children’s court service has fallen guardians warn

A group of self-employed children’s guardians has told MPs
that the quality and standard of employed children’s
guardians has dropped since the establishment of the Children and
Family Court Advisory and Support Service, writes
Derren Hayes.

While giving evidence to the inquiry into Cafcass by the
committee on the Lord Chancellor’s department, Nagalro
representatives said they were concerned that new 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 that 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”, and that
“[the new practioners] are in great difficulties as a

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

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