Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure there are specialist staff with trauma training in job centres.
Training and guidance is provided for all staff working with different vulnerable groups. This includes developing the skills they need to support and communicate with a diverse range of customers to provide a tailored service that recognises those with complex needs.
Jobcentre staff have access to information on services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants and will signpost claimants to national and local organisations who provide specialist support. This has included Trauma Informed Approach training that many staff have now completed. Nationally DWP works with J9, a domestic abuse awareness national initiative.
Work Coaches will tailor conditionality, setting requirements based on what is reasonable for the individual’s circumstances. A claimant’s work search and availability requirements can be switched off for an agreed period of time, and other work-related requirements can be lifted where appropriate. This includes where the claimant has suffered domestic violence and abuse, or periods where a child in their care is suffering distress due to experiencing or witnessing violence or abuse.
To assist identification and claimant support, each Jobcentre Plus site has a complex needs toolkit in place. These are maintained and reviewed locally and contain a named single point of contact for areas such as Homelessness, Care leavers and Prison leavers. Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) are also on site to support when needed.