Following a survey by Community Care it was found that almost 70% of social workers across children’s, adult and mental health services (and others practising in the sector) surveyed felt they had no, or limited, awareness of how to refer those at risk of radicalisation.
This is an area of practice that is becoming increasingly relevant and has been subject of high profile stories in the news. Providing support to those dealing with cases of radicalisation, child sexual exploitation and child trafficking is welcomed.
In terms of radicalisation, Cafcass is already building up insight and knowledge from its involvement in cases coming through the courts. At the last count there have been 54 cases, concerning 128 children, where their staff have identified a risk of radicalisation. One particular challenge is the definition of radicalisation and knowing where the threshold lies. This was a theme throughout a workshop held by Cafcass in September 2015, which was attended by Cafcass Legal and all the practitioners who had held a case involving radicalisation issues. The aim was to draw learning from their experiences. There is a need to balance the risk posed to children against what may be appropriate and traditional religious or cultural practices.