Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) Chair

Body: Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) Chair
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: London
Skills required: Legal / Judicial
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £400 per day
Time Requirements: 80 Days per year

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    W/C 23 November

  • Final Interview Date

    11 January 2021

  • Announcement

    March 2021

Shortlisted candidates will have an informal discussion with the Family Justice Youth Board on 7 January and the panel interview will be 11 January 2021.


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The role of the Chair is to lead and direct the work of the Cafcass Board (including its various sub-committees), the purpose of which is to ensure probity in the conduct of Cafcass’ affairs, and that Cafcass’ policies and its strategic vision are compatible with those of the Secretary of State.
The Board is specifically responsible for:

• Establishing and taking forward the strategic aims and objectives of Cafcass consistent with its overall strategic direction and within the policy and resources framework determined by the Secretary of State;
• Ensuring that the responsible minister is kept informed of any changes or risks that are likely to impact on the strategic direction of Cafcass or on the attainability of its targets, and determining the steps needed to deal with such changes or risks;
• Ensuring that any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds are complied with; that the Board operates within the limits of its statutory authority and any delegated authority agreed with the Department, and in accordance with any other conditions relating to the use of public funds; and that, in reaching decisions, the Board takes into account guidance issued by Department;
• Ensuring that it receives and reviews regular financial information concerning the management of Cafcass; is informed in a timely manner of any concerns about the activities of Cafcass; and provides positive assurance to the Department that appropriate action has been taken on such concerns;
• Demonstrating high standards of corporate governance at all times, including by using the Audit committee to help the Board to identity, address and manage key financial and other risks;
• Ensuring Cafcass is compliant with appropriate adaptations of sections of Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments: Code of Good Practice;
• Ensuring suitable business continuity arrangements are put into place and tested; and
• Appointing a Chief Executive, with the approval of the Secretary of State, and – in consultation with the Department – setting performance objectives and remuneration terms linked to those objectives for the Chief Executive, which give due weight to the proper management and use of public resources.
• Members of the Board may be called upon to chair various Cafcass working groups that are charged with developing strategies for priority areas, or to take on lead roles for specific issue.

Person Specification

Essential criteria
• Outstanding organisational leadership including the ability to set strategic direction; manage and embed change and continuous improvement using technology where necessary;
• An understanding or experience of governance in the private, public or voluntary sectors as well as an understanding of operating in a regulatory regime.

• Personal credibility and integrity which will inform the ability to command the confidence of Ministers, senior officials, Parliament and the public as well as a willingness to develop an understanding of the public sector;
• A demonstrable commitment to the goals, values and ethos of Cafcass;
• Excellent judgement and the ability to scrutinise, interpret, assimilate and interrogate a range of evidence and perspectives;
• Outstanding communication skills which will enable the Chair to lead the organisation as well as act as an ambassador, for Cafcass, by engaging effectively with a varied range of internal and external stakeholders.
Desirable criteria
• Evidence of valuing and promoting diversity.
• Experience of one or more of the following areas will also be taken into account by the selection panel:
o Management and finance;
o Family Justice and Courts System; and
o Children’s Social Care

Additional Information

Public appointments are offered on a fixed term basis. We do this to ensure that the leadership of our public bodies is regularly refreshed and Cafcass can benefit from new perspectives and ideas. The appointment will run for three years with the possibility of reappointment for a further term subject to satisfactory appraisal and at the discretion of Ministers. In line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments, there is a strong presumption that no individual should serve more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years.

Cafcass Conflict of Interest - October 2020
Cafcass Diversity monitoring form October 2020
Cafcass Candidate Pack 20 October 2020
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