Cafcass has a recruitment problem. The suggested solution in the discussion paper called “Proposed workforce development strategy: developing the workforce of the future” is:-
To achieve this, it is proposed that Cafcass should introduce a Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) programme (sic). Social work graduates would commit to 3 years with Cafcass. In order to gain necessary local authority experience, the second year of the programme would be spent on secondment to a local authority. In return Cafcass would receive on secondment a recently qualified social worker from the hosting authority. This programme would be mutually beneficial for Cafcass and Local Authorities and aims to build wider system capacity over the longer term. In this second year, it would then be possible to gain experience of local authority work with children in need, looked after children, child protection etc and bring a more rounded professional skills-set and experience base back to Cafcass. .. At present it is proposed that NQSW’s in their first year will focus primarily on private Law cases, that the second year is spent on secondment to a local authority in a child safeguarding team and that in the third year they continue to work on private law and are also introduced to public law cases.