Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) – Recruitment of up to three members

Body: Ministry of Justice
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Regulation
Location: Meetings usually take place in London and on occasion in other locations in the UK. Some travel is required to attend meetings and events across the UK.
Skills required: Regulation
Number of Vacancies: Up to 3
Remuneration: £286.82 per day
Time Requirements: 35 days per year


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Rt Hon Dominic Raab – Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice – has approved the appointments of Peter Fish and Catharine Seddon as members of the Board of the Children’s and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) for 4 years from 19 April 2022.

Catharine Seddon has 14 years of public service as a non-executive director, principally for national regulators. Catharine is currently Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and Senior Independent Director for The Gambling Commission and the Legal Services Board, where she also chairs the Audit and Risk Assurance committee.

Previously, she has held non-executive and committee roles with the Human Tissue Authority and The Pensions Regulator. She also sits on tribunals in mental health and employment, as a lay assessor on civil cases in the county courts and she is a presiding magistrate in Central London. Catharine tutors for the Civil Service College and is a member of the Health Service Products Appeal Tribunal and a trustee for CPotential, a special needs charity.

Catharine spent twenty years as a high-end film documentary maker, at first at the BBC and latterly for C4, eventually setting up her own independent production company.

Catharine has not declared any political activity.

Peter Fish CB has extensive experience within government. His previous roles include Home Office Legal Adviser and Director General, Government Legal Department, Director General and Head of the Attorney General’s Office, and Deputy Treasury Solicitor at the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. He is currently an Assistant Boundary Commissioner at the Boundary Commission.

Peter has not declared any political activity.

Date: 27/04/2022

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    29/03/2021 at 09:00

  • Panel Sift

    April 2021

  • Final Interview Date

    September 2021

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The purpose of the Board is threefold: to ensure good governance across the organisation, to add value to Cafcass’s strategic direction and programmes, and to ensure that Cafcass’ policies 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 responsible Minister;
  • 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 and Risk Assurance 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 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 issues. The lead role system is well developed and is based upon important thematic issues being taken forward by a Board member and designated senior manager, on behalf of the Board and the Cafcass Executive (the Corporate Management Team).

Person Specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • An understanding, or willingness and commitment to quickly acquire an understanding, of the family justice system and children’s services (including child safeguarding priorities and programmes, children’s social care and court work) plus the capacity to promote better outcomes for children;
  • Experience of governance, risk and financial management gained through working at a senior level, either nationally or regionally, in the public, private or voluntary sectors.
  • Evidence of sound judgement, customer focus with the ability to command respect and establish credibility to enable you to act as an ambassador for the organisation in line with Cafcass’ values and behaviours;
  • Evidence of effective working as a team member, with the ability to contribute to the long-term strategy, development and success of the organisation;
  • Evidence of exceptional communication skills with the ability to engage with stakeholders to secure the commitment of other key organisations, agencies and individuals to work together to achieve shared goals; and
  • Evidence of valuing and promoting diversity.


Desirable criteria

  • Experience of private law proceedings in the family courts;
  • Experience as a member of an Audit and Risk Committee; and
  • Experience of leading, managing and embedding change within an organisation, ideally enabled by digital technology gained through senior experience.

Additional Information

Tenure: 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 that Cafcass can benefit from new perspectives and ideas. The appointment will run for 4 years with the possibility of reappointment for a further term subject to satisfactory appraisal and at the discretion of Ministers.  Overall, the tenure period must not exceed eight years (Regulation 6(b) of the Cafcass Regulations 2005).

Remuneration: Remuneration is taxable and subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. The role is not pensionable and your remuneration may be abated if you receive a public service pension.

Performance Appraisal: You will be assessed annually on performance; appraisal arrangements will be agreed on appointment.

How to Apply

Send the following documents:

  • A copy of your CV, in no more than two sides of A4
  • A supporting statement that evidences how you meet all the criteria, in no more than two sides of A4
    • Declaration of interests form;
    • Previous or current public appointments;
    • Names and contacts details of two referees (who will be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview);
    • Political activity declaration form;
    • Equal opportunities monitoring form, and the
    • Guaranteed interview scheme declaration, if relevant.

Complete applications should be sent to: ,receipt of applications will be acknowledged. quoting reference PAT 160016 in the subject line. We will acknowledge receipt.

The diversity monitoring form can be found here:




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