Body: Independent Family Returns Panel
Appointing Department: Home Office
Sectors: Communities, Education, Health and Social Care, Judicial, Prison & Policing, Prison & Policing, Regulation
Location: Flexible within the United Kingdom
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Communication / Media / Marketing, Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 4
Remuneration: The role is remunerated at £200 per day, based on an expected time commitment of one day per fortnight.
Time Requirements: An initial term of three years


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

The Home Office has appointed Dr Janice Waters, Joma Wellings Longmore, Dr Peter Sidgwick and Orla Ohagan to the Panel for a term of 3 years.

The appointments have been made in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Date: 02/12/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Announcement will be made in due course once the security process is concluded.


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Do you want to play a leading role in advising the Home Office on how to best safeguard children’s welfare?

As a member of the Independent Family Returns Panel (‘the Panel’) you will contribute to the operation and output of the Panel that provides independent case-by-case advice to the Home Office on how to best safeguard children’s welfare during a family’s enforced return. The advice provided by the Panel helps to ensure that individual family return plans take full account of the welfare of the children involved, and therefore meeting the Home Office’s statutory child safeguarding duty.

To complement its existing members, we are seeking three new Panel members; one with a medical background (e.g. General Practitioner, psychiatrist or port doctor) and two with a safeguarding background, ideally from a children’s social care, education or other relevant safeguarding background. Knowledge of mental health services or significant experience of mental health would also be advantageous.

All members will need to possess excellent communication and influencing skills, the ability to work collaboratively with other members, and to constructively contribute to discussions, negotiating between conflicting opinions to reach consensus. We are seeking candidates with strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with Panel members and stakeholders in a multi-professional environment, and to actively and constructively contribute to discussions, negotiating between conflicting opinions and generating options to reach consensus.

There is a high level of interest in family returns, so the ability to remain independent in an environment of regular scrutiny by the media, the public, and others is a key element of the role.

Person Specification

It is essential in your supporting statement that you provide evidence and proven examples against each of the selection criteria in Part One only of the person specification, in so far as you are able. These responses will be further developed and explored with those candidates invited for interview, together with the criteria listed in Part Two.

Part One – Essential Criteria

Skills, abilities and experience

  • The ability to bring from their respective areas of expertise, authority, knowledge, and breadth to a complex issue of public interest and importance, and specifically to apply professional expertise to the welfare and safeguarding needs of families.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with Panel members and stakeholders in a multi-professional environment, and to actively and constructively contribute to discussions, negotiating between conflicting opinions and generating options to reach consensus.
  • The confidence to deal with difficult situations sensitively, and to take and be accountable for decisions.
  • An appreciation of equality and diversity and a willingness to champion difference.
  • Evidence of working successfully in a professional, community or voluntary capacity on committees or other decision-making groups, and reaching impactful and timely conclusions.
  • If you are a Doctor, you must be registered with the General Medical Council.


  • Experience of working with children and families from diverse communities and backgrounds and in challenging contexts.
  • Experience and understanding of the immigration and asylum system, especially where it affects children and families.


Part Two – Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

   Personal qualities 

  • The ability to recognise and draw appropriately on professional expertise with self-awareness.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, having the ability to listen, work effectively with and gain the trust of staff within the organisation and with external stakeholders.
  • Personal integrity and the ability to demonstrate authority, commitment, and consistency.

We value and promote diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity for all. Appointment will be made on merit following an open, fair and transparent competition.

Due Diligence: Please note that as part of the recruitment process, due diligence, including social media checks will be undertaken on the appointable candidates.

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have or be willing to obtain security clearance to Security Check (SC) level.

How to Apply

The closing date for applications is 23:00, Wednesday 31 March 2021.

Please submit the following 4 documents, clearly labelled, by email to

  1. A concise CV (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications.
  2. A short supporting statement (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for the role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the experience, qualities and skill areas identified in the person specification.
  3. Please complete and return via email the forms at Annex B, relating to referees, conflicts of interest and nationality.
  1. In addition, please complete the Diversity Form at Annex C. Please click on the link to the Public Appointments website for further information on recording whether or not you have a disability.

Please include the heading (Independent Family Returns Panel members) in the subject box.

Please submit your application documents as 4 separate attachments.

Please note the following:

  • We cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date.
  • Applications will be assessed on the documentation provided. Please refer to the advert and checklist to ensure you have provided the necessary documentation We will assess it based solely on documentation provided.
  • Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt.
  • Feedback will only be given to unsuccessful candidates following interview.


Annex B - Supporting documentation 2020 - Final
Home Office Privacy Notice - Final
210301 - IFRP MEMBERS - Recruitment Pack - Final
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