This is a matter for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). Anthony Douglas, the Chief Executive, has written to the hon. Lady with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.
Letter from Anthony Douglas, dated 2 March 2007:
I am writing to you in response to Parliamentary Question 122547.
PQ122547—To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, what plans he has to recruit and retain an experienced workforce in children and family court advisory and support services.
CAFCASS already has a highly experienced workforce and new Family Court Advisors generally have at least 3 and usually over 5 years post-qualifying experience. CAFCASS carries out extensive training to ensure the skills of all staff are up to date, and that its training programmes are fit for purpose. A strategic pay review is underway, to ensure that levels of pay are competitive. CAFCASS evaluates the success of its recruitment initiatives and carries out exit interviews with staff who leave to ensure any lessons can be learnt. A comprehensive workforce strategy is being consulted on internally at present, and this will address all CAFCASS workforce needs over the next 3-5 years.
A copy of this reply will be placed in the House Library.