Cafcass and Emotional Harm Webinar Training

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Cafcass produce webinars as a form of training for their staff. You can read about the webinars from 2016 in our post here on Cafcass Webinars 2016 and 2017 which show you a list of webinars and the attendance rates.

If you ask for copies of the webinars Cafcass respond to say:

This webinar was a live discussion and so Cafcass does not have a copy of the webinar to disclose. An audio recording of the webinar discussion was produced however this contains discussion of cases by staff and so contains personal information of staff and service users.

Disclosure is therefore exempt under Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Earlier this year Anthony Douglas gave a webinar on Parental Alienation. Only a handful of FCAs attended this webinar on Parental Alienation and you can read about this in our post entitled: Cafcass Parental Alienation Webinar Training

Anthony Douglas also held a webinar on Emotional Harm as you can see from the table below:

WebinarNo. of staff who attended
the webinar (this includes all staff, not just FCAs)
Emotional harm 29
Indirect contact26

Here are the attendance figures a researcher has obtained through a FOI request:

RegionService AreaNumber of FCAs January 2017FCAs who attended Anthony Douglas Parental Alienation WebinarFCAs who attended Anthony Douglas Emotional Harm Webinar
Tyneside and Northumbria A15420
Durham, Teesside, North Yorkshire, York, Cumbria and LancashireA210932
Greater Manchester A37910
South Yorkshire and Humberside A46521
West Yorkshire A56703
Hampshire, The Isle of Wight and Dorset A65102
Avon, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Thames ValleyA78622
Cornwall, Devon and SomersetA86812
Cheshire and Merseyside A910030
Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire A105110
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire A116730
Birmingham, the Black Country, Shropshire and Worcestershire A129731
National Business Centre, Coventry, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire A136620
Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire A1411712
Greater London (Public Law) A15A1465 in total for A15a and A15b3 in total for A15a and A15b
Greater London (Private Law) A15B85see row abovesee row above
Surrey and Sussex A165723
Kent A174011
N/A (Self Employed Contractors)SEC200

We have included the viewing rates for the Parental Alienation webinar alongwith the numbers of FCAs employed in each Service Area to provide comparisons for completion rates.

Why is this important?

Here we have the Chief Executive of Cafcass Anthony Douglas, who has just released an interview saying that Parental Alienation is so serious that it should be considered a form of child abuse and acknowledging that his employees need more training on it, then giving all-hands webinars on Parental Alienation and another one on Emotional Harm… and yet hardly any of his FCAs can be bothered to attend?

No confidence

In any other organisation this would be seen as a definitive vote of no confidence in the Chief Executive. In any other organisation the Chief Executive would be called upon to resign immediately. In any other organisation there would be a flurry of memos and director level instructions to all employees that they must immediately attend follow-up webinars or explain themselves.

Time for Anthony Douglas to go

It’s time for Anthony Douglas to go.

He needs to be replaced immediately by a Chief Executive who ensures that Cafcass FCAs are fully trained, fully qualified, and fully accountable for their professional standards, their qualifications, and their CPD (continuous professional development).


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